Bureau of Security and Investigative Services

Right Column

Legislative Changes - Effective January 1, 1999

NOTE: This column originally appeared on the web site in early 1999. We are providing it now by popular demand as an "archive" for consumers and members of the security industry. The following information explains legislative changes that took effect on January 1, 1999.

Message from the Chief

What's new? New legislation is on the books that affects our industries. I have organized the laws in sections to make it a little easier. With so many changes it is confusing at best, so I hope this will help.

We continue to work on the web site and the license look-up feature. The program that works with the license look-up is being upgraded and should function more quickly and accurately. One problem we have is that the software used to search for matches to your queries isn't very flexible. You have to be spot-on with the name, number, and county to find someone. We have 58 counties in California, so that really compounds the problem. I want to simplify the searches so your results will be more accurate and dependable.

Here are the new laws and their code sections. You can find your portion of the act on this web site and print it for reference.

New laws or specific changes effective 1/1/99.

Private Patrol Operators / Security Officers / Security Trainers:

Officers required to have patches on both shoulders and badge.
BSIS allowed to use digital fingerprinting technology.
Application verification and name of employer.
Employer to be shown registration card on first day of work.
PPO required to tell clients in writing that temporary officers have not completed their background investigation.
School security officers required to have FBI background check.
Firearms and baton facilities given 3 year grace period for renewals.
PPO and branch office have 3 year grace period for renewals.
PPO and branch office start from beginning after grace period.
Unlicensed officer fine now $57.00 per incident.

Alarm Companies:

PPOs may respond to alarms and not hold an ACO.
ACOs have 3-year grace period to renew.
No temporary licenses if convicted of a crime. Must wait for clearance.
QMs have 3-year grace period to renew.

Private Investigators:

P.I.s may only be a QM for 5 new registrants at any one time.
P.I. license/branch offices allowed 3 year grace period to renew
After 3 years of no renewal, you start process from beginning.


Locksmiths have 3 year grace period for renewal.

Collateral Recovery:

Changes in definitions.
14 3-year grace period for renewals.
RAQs have 3-year grace period for renewals.
Records and retention for 4 years, availability for bureau inspection.

Police Officers:

If you are currently working as a police officer or level-I reserve, you may begin work as a security officer immediately. You need only a copy of your firearm application and guard card to start (earlier legislation authorizes BSIS to release these licenses early). The officers still go through the same background investigation as everyone else.

Peace Officers, Firearms, Batons and Off-Duty Employment

Active-duty peace officers, or retired peace officers with an endorsement to carry a concealed weapon, who work as armed private patrol operators, security guards, body guards, alarm company employees or licensed private investigators, must possess a qualifying license (guard card, PPO, PI, ACE, ACO) and an exposed weapon permit issued by BSIS. These requirements are effective as of January 1, 1997 and are stated in Business and Professions (B&P) Code sections 7522 and 7582.2. (Stats. 1996, ch. 710 SB 1375). Additionally, most law enforcement agencies are now familiar with these facts. However, we continue to receive many inquiries about this from active-duty and retired peace officers.

Active-duty peace officers, and retired peace officers with a concealed weapon endorsement, are authorized to carry a concealed weapon under the Penal Code. However, if an active-duty peace officer or retired peace officer is employed to work armed in the security industry, the officer must comply with the requirements of the B&P Code, which regulates the security industry.

A peace officer without a BSIS guard card and a weapon permit who chooses to work armed in an off-duty security industry job that does not require the officer to be armed is also in violation of B&P Code.

If you are an active-duty peace officer or a retired peace officer with a CCW endorsement and you are working off-duty in the security industry without a BSIS-issued guard card and weapon permit, you are in violation of the law. Although you may not be in violation of the Penal Code, you would be in violation of the B&P Code. Additionally, you are not only incurring the risk of a great civil and possibly criminal liability--you are also exposing your employer to great liability.

Active duty peace officers with a guard card and a firearm permit are not required to comply with the BSIS firearm requalification requirements. They are also exempt from possessing a BSIS-issued baton card if they carry a baton in off-duty employment.

Retired peace officers who work armed must possess a guard card and a firearm permit, and must comply with the BSIS firearm requalification requirements. Additionally, if they carry a baton, they must possess a BSIS issued baton permit.

New Generic Baton Permits and Generic Baton Instructor Certificates

Effective immediately, BSIS shall discontinue issuing baton permits or baton training certificates that specify what type of baton the person may carry on duty or for what type of baton the instructor may conduct training, such as a sidehandle or collapsible type of baton. BSIS shall be issuing only a single "generic" type of baton permit and baton instructor certificate.

We recently conducted a review of the Private Security Act, BSIS regulations, and recent Regulatory Determinations issued by the Office of Administrative Law, and have determined that there is no specific authority for BSIS to designate or limit the type of batons used by licensees and training instructors. Under existing law BSIS only has authority to issue "a baton permit" or a "baton instructor certificate." In order to limit or specify the type(s) of baton used, BSIS would need to adopt a regulation. Consequently, all licensees holding a baton permit may carry any type of baton on the job regardless of the type specified on the baton permit so long as he or she is proficient in the use of the device. Also, a baton instructor with an old baton instructor certificate may teach any type of baton so long as the instructor is proficient in the use of the specific type of baton.

The baton permit and baton instructor certificates are in the process of being modified. The new permits and certificates will state only that the holder may carry a baton or provide baton instruction. All references to types of batons are deleted. The application forms are also being modified. The new applications will clearly state that the applicant is applying for only a baton permit or a baton instructor certificate. All references to specific types of batons have been deleted. Finally, the current Baton Training Manual will also be revised. In the meantime, continue to use the current Baton Training Manual.

In summary, what we have is authority to require an applicant to undergo baton training in order to receive a baton permit and for an applicant to meet a set of specific criteria to receive a baton instructor permit. However, once a permit or certificate is issued, the holder may carry or teach any type of baton.

We will keep you informed of any new legislation or proposed regulation related to baton permits and certificates.

Active duty (full time) peace officers are exempt from the training and requalifications requirements. They must send a copy (front and back) of their peace officers' identification along with their applications. The firearm application and security guard application must be completed. On the firearm application form where the firearm instructor's information is, and on the guard application where the Powers to Arrest information is, these applicants can write "active-duty peace officer." The caliber(s) of the weapon(s) must be indicated on the form, as that caliber or calibers will be printed on the firearm permit. Fingerprint cards must be completed on both sides in black ink or typed with complete physical description and signatures. Fingerprint cards must be the applicant cards (BID-7) from DOJ. Fingerprint cards from the peace officer's law enforcement agency cannot be used. Security guard and firearm applications are available on the Internet, www.bsis.ca.gov. Your authority to carry a concealed weapon under 830 and 12027 of the CA Penal Code is recognized in the Business and Profession Code (Private Security Services Act). Once you apply for your security guard card and firearm permit, you can also carry your weapon concealed. If you need further information please call me at (916) 322-7530.

Retired Peace officers are not exempt from the training and requalification requirements.

Police Officers and Private Security: Caveat

Law enforcement officers are allowed many statutory exemptions and privileges. They have special retirements and presumptions under the law. However, if you are a licensed security officer or private investigator and a full time officer you may have some serious issues to deal with if you get into legal trouble or are injured.

If you are acting in the capacity of a private contract security guard or private investigator and are injured, you may not be able to look to 4850 of the Labor Code to compensate you. You will get whatever benefits a private security guard would receive. If you are sued for some type of activity related to your off-duty, private work, you may have to look to your own resources or insurance to protect you.

Know what you are risking before getting into this work.