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New G Licensee Regulations Effective 6/16/2011

Over the past few years, FASCO, FALI and a number of security industry leaders in Florida have been lobbying and negotiating with the Division of Licensing to clarify the rules for G licensed security officers and investigators, without much success.

More recently, our industry representatives have had the opportunity to work more closely with the Director of the Division of Licensing and her staff to review these issues. Under this review, we have focused on the interpretations of when a security officer may or may not carry a firearm in connection with his or her duties. There are two main reasons that this review is so important.

First, the potential for an unintentional discharge exists anytime a G licensee handles a firearm. That puts the public at risk and exposes security agencies to unnecessary liabilities.

Second, rules related to G licensees desperately needed to be clarified in order to prevent unintentional violations of statutes by security officers and security agency managers.

As of this writing, the Division has published the proposed new rules.

This email is meant to provide you with an overview of the changes, not a detailed explanation of these new rules.

Industry leaders, agency owners and licensees need to take the time to read the actual proposed rules. It is important that you understand them clearly in order to ensure compliance with the rules and the intent. We believe these new regulations are much more aligned with the operational realities our members face every day, and will drastically reduce the liability exposure. We ask that you visit the members area of the FASCO website where you can download the actual document provided by the Division of Licensing. http://www.fascofl.com

We encourage all agency owners and managers to begin preparing to implement clear agency policies that are in compliance with these proposed rules. It is important that any violation be addressed swiftly.

The trust and respect given to our industry, by revising the old rules, requires industry practitioners to be fully engaged in self-governing the actions of our employees.

The Division of Licensing and FASCO plan on reviewing the effectiveness of these changes sometime in 2013. Any section of these rules that have created any unintended consequences or are being abused in a manner inconsistent with the intent will be addressed and potentially revised.

We appreciate the assistance and cooperation of the many folks who participated in the process of reviewing and revising the Florida "G" license framework we have been operating under since the 1980s. These critical changes could not have been possible had it not been for the Division Director Connie Crawford, Marion Hammer of the NRA who's leadership brought all parties together, the FASCO Board of Directors, the Board of Directors of FALI, and the staff of Critical Intervention Services who lead the issue.

All of these people committed themselves to ensuring that the issues at stake were resolved in a common sense fashion to address the current and anticipated needs of the security profession as it continues to grow and professionalize. These people have worked very hard to make these changes a reality so that the industry can have clear rules that make sense and account for the complexity of today's security operations. We thank them for their commitment to improving our industry and for their good faith efforts.

The most important change under the new rules is that the employing security agency is now responsible for determining and defining the duties of its employed security officers. As a result, the agency now decides when officers may or may not be armed in the course of their duties. Since the employing agency is directly liable for the actions and safety of its officers, it only made sense to clarify this responsibility.

Some other key features of the new rules are;

  • Not all security threats to a property occur within its boundary lines. A security officer may still be expected to manage certain such threats that occur outside of the property line and should be able to remain armed while doing so at the direction of their employer and/or client.

  • When a security officer is required to travel between sites, he may remain armed while doing so instead of disarming when leaving one site and arming again at another.

  • A security officer may travel armed to and from work, as long as he is in uniform. If the security officer is performing limited plainclothes duties, he need not be in uniform.

  • A security officer may remain armed while performing tasks such as refueling an agency vehicle, purchasing carryout food or drink, or taking a hygiene break, as long as he is within two miles of his site.

  • A security officer need not disarm when rendering emergency humanitarian aid or when assisting a law enforcement officer upon request.

  • A security officer may not disarm while on duty unless required by his employer. When he does, his firearm must be securely encased. If he is transferring his firearm to another security officer, a clearing barrel must be used in the transfer.

  • A security officer may not leave a firearm unsecured while on duty.

    Additionally, a supervisor may remain armed the entire time he is on duty and performing his supervisory duties, even if not specifically on a client site, unless he is assigned to work an unarmed site.

  • A supervisor may remain armed while traveling among client sites. The employing agency is responsible to develop protocols, in coordination with its clients, for whether or not and how an armed supervisor may enter an unarmed site.

  • A supervisor may remain armed while conducting a threat assessment for a prospective client, provided the prospective client has given written permission.

  • A supervisor may remain armed while meeting with a client or prospective client.

These rules only apply to those security officers who have Class 'G' licenses and are assigned to work armed sites. The employing agency is responsible for making policies consistent with these rules. The security supervisor is defined as one who supervises armed officers on multiple sites and who has the authority to relieve officers from duty or initiate disciplinary action. No security officer may remain armed under these rules while running personal errands of any sort.

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