HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Thousands of Hawaii's security guards and nightclub bouncers will likely be breaking the law soon.
The deadline to complete new training and apply for a special license is July 1. There are an estimated 10,700 security workers in Hawaii, according to a 2010 report being used by the state. Only about 4,000 applications, however, have been turned in.
Members of the board that regulates Hawaii's security guards have been busy reviewing applications, but they know that many of the workers impacted by the new law probably won't meet Monday's deadline. The requirements include eight hours of instruction and criminal background checks.
"If they haven't applied, which meant they haven't met the requirements, then they technically should not be working or acting as a guard until they do so," said Charlene Tamanaha, executive officer of the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs' Board of Private Detectives and Guards. "We are kind of concerned that it may not have reached all of the people or they're in the process hopefully of trying to come into compliance."
Since board members may not finish reviewing the backlog of recent application, they decided that although the new law does not provide a grace period, if a person submits an application by July 1 and attests that they meet the requirements, the applicant will be allowed to continue working as a guard subject to the review of the application. If members later approve the application, the guard registration card issued will be retroactive to July 1.
Former Honolulu Police Chief Lee Donohue trains guards using the new curriculum. He believes smaller companies may be waiting to see if there is any enforcement.
"I ask them how come your boss is not out here signing you guys up. They found me by themselves, and they say they don't care about us. They don't think anything is gonna happen," said Lee Donohue of Magnum Investigations.
With liability a major concern, the state hopes that employers, clients, and competitors will help with enforcement.
"They probably won't be employed if they don't have that qualification," said Douglas Inouye, chair of the Board of Private Detectives and Guards. "Or if someone, a competitor calls them out on it, I think that would be the bigger fear for the employer."
If a complaint is filed, the state could take away the license of a guard agency. The board doesn't have jurisdiction over hotels, banks, stores, and nightclubs that hire guards. In that case, the employee could be fined for unlicensed activity.
For more information about the guard application, click here.