HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Big changes are on the horizon for Hawaii's guard industry – anyone who works in security has less than two months to meet new state requirements or risk losing their job. Effective July 1, 2013, all guards, armed or not, will be required to carry a guard card as proof they've registered with the Board of Private Detectives and Guards and have met all the new state guidelines.
Under Act 208, "all guards, and all agents, operatives, and assistants employed by a guard agency, private business entity, or government agency who act in a guard capacity shall apply to register with the Board, and meet the following registration, instruction, and training requirements prior to acting as a guard:
- Be not less than 18 years of age;
- Possess a high school education or its equivalent
- Not be presently suffering from any psychiatric or psychological disorder which is directly related and detrimental to a person's performance in the profession;
- Not have been convicted in any jurisdiction of a crime which reflects unfavorably on the fitness of the individual to act as a guard, unless the conviction has been annulled or expunged by court order; provided that the individual shall submit to a national criminal history record check as authorized by federal law, including but not limited to the Private Security Officer Employment Authorization Act of 2004, and specified in the rules of the Board;
- Successfully complete 8 hours of classroom instruction given by a Board approved instructor on a Board approved curriculum before the first day of service; and
- 4 hours of classroom instruction annually thereafter."
Star Protection Agency has 800 officers and half already meet the state's new requirements. Company President Robin Medeiros says creating an industry standard legitimizes the profession.
"As an officer becomes trained and certified, they're more likely to get higher wages, higher pay – so that will positively impact our profession," explained Medeiros, who will also have to get a guard card.
"It is intended to provide a minimum standard of training and education for our security guard industry," said state Senator Will Espero, who co-introduced the bill in 2010. "We felt that there should be a minimum amount of training that these individuals have since they're there for public safety and many members of the public have a certain amount of trust in these individuals."
The costs for the card and the class could range from about $100 to $250. The state hasn't specified who pays for it, so it varies by company.
"The card is portable so that means regardless of where the officer works they'll be able to take the card with them. So ,they're actually paying for the card themselves, we on the other hand are offering the training at no cost to them," said Medeiros.
Lawmakers say it's a small price to pay to improve community safety.
"When you look at what happened in Boston and some of the homegrown terrorism and violence out there – these individuals are out in the field intermingling with the public and others, and this would be a good group of individuals to have a certain amount of training to help us in our homeland security issues," described Sen. Espero.
According to the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA), who administers the state's security regulatory laws, bouncers will also need guard cards. Officials say they've had difficulty reaching out to the profession, but say it's important they know they can't work legally after June 30, 2013 without one.
For more information, go to: www.hawaii.gov/dcca/pvl and select "Private Detectives and Guards" then click on "Important Announcements".