STATE LAW REGARDING SECURITY GUARDS
DO YOU HIRE SECURITY GUARD COMPANIES IN ALBUQUERQUE?
Did you know that New Mexico has strict laws regulating security guard services, and these laws were passed to protect you, the client, from being scammed by phony security guard companies?
The “New Mexico Private Law Enforcement Practitioners Act 16-48-1” sets forth the laws that all New Mexico and Albuquerque security guard companies are to operate by, and only by following those laws can they earn or keep their license. But many local and national security guard companies are blatantly violating the licensing law, putting your property, employees and customers at risk.
How does this concern you?
If an incident occurs on your property and it is discovered that
t you hired an unlicensed and uninsured security guard company , you just increased your liability exponentially. As a company that hires security guard services, you have an obligation to ensure that the company and its uniformed guards are legally authorized to perform the service.
There are easy steps you can take to determine whether your security guard service is following the law. First arm yourself with what state law says about security guards and their employers, as explained in this website. Next ask your security guard company to produce the compliance described in this website. If they object, you have a problem and you may be the victim of a phony security company who does not pay state license fees, may have their license revoked, may be uninsured, or may be using untrained and unlicensed guards.
The bad actors can underbid an authorized legal company by skirting the law, failing to pay license fees, but it may cost you as a client much more in the long run.
EVERY UNIFORMED SECURITY GUARD MUST HAVE A "GUARD CARD"
In order to be employed as a security guard , each individual uniformed guard must have a “guard card”, a special license issued by the state of New Mexico, and be employed under the direct control and supervision of a licensed private patrol operator (PPO). The guard is required to submit fingerprints, and pass a state and federal criminal history background check conducted by the state as part of their license requirement.
According to NM state law 16-48-1-14 “C. A registration license card issued by the department shall at all times be in the possession of and located on the person of a registrant when working.
A security guard is also required to complete a state certified training,
NM state law 16-48-2-17 including criminal trespass, detention, liability, duties and ethics, citizen’s arrest, cooperation with law enforcement, securing a crime scene, search & seizure restriction, limitations of authority, report writing, etc.
PRACTICING WITHOUT A LICENSE
If you have a security guard working on your premises that cannot produce their current guard card license at your request, they are performing an illegal act, and you are better off asking him/her to leave your property.
According to the "practicing without a license" clause in the NM Private Law Enforcement Providers Act 16-48-1.10 It is unlawful to practice without a license including:
A) It is unlawful to be employed as a security guard without current “guard card” license from the state;
B) It is unlawful to continue to act as a security guard if the individual's license has expired or been suspended or revoked;
C) It is unlawful for an individual to perform guard services without being employed by a licensed PPO;
D) It is unlawful for a PPO to assign a guard without him/her providing proof of a current guard card license, and keeping a copy on file;
At Pro+Plus Security, we encourage our clients to ask our guards to see proof of their license. Our guards are proud of their license, it is hard to earn, hard to keep, and the licensing and education fee is very expensive. Please show them your respect by refusing to hire unlicensed guards. We will do our part and continue to refuse to hire unlicensed guards, and we make sure they stay current.
Also, it is illegal for a security guard to offer a client their services as a freelancer, they must be employed by a PPO security guard company.
SECURITY GUARD COMPANIES MUST HAVE A "PPO" LICENSE
A security guard company is prohibited by state law from assigning security guards or billing for security services unless the company is also licensed by the state as a “Private Patrol Operator (PPO)”, as required by NM state law 16-48-2.13 to 15.
In order to be licensed the owner must pass both state and federal criminal history background checks, fingerprinting, and deemed suitable by the state after a review by the licensing board of their qualifications, experience, capability, and proof of liability and workers comp insurance before being issued a “Private Patrol Operator License”.
The owner must provide to their client, at any time requested, with proof of :
1) current state issued PPO license
2) current city business license
3) Minimum $1 million dollars in liability insurance
4) workers compensation insurance.
An unlicensed security guard company without liability insurance, or workers comp increases your liability.
A Pro+Plus Security contract states that we will provide proof of these to our clients, period. It is even in our contract. And we are so confident our service will satisfy you, our contract can be cancelled in 30 days if you are not happy with our service.
NEW MEXICO STATE LAW ON SECURITY GUARD UNIFORMS
By state law, a security guard must be in their official uniform when on duty, whose design has been submitted to and approved by the state licensing board. A guard may not work without wearing the approved uniform of the PPO.
The law even has rigid instructions about how the uniform appears. The law specifically requires under NM statute 188.8.131.52 that, “Uniforms worn by a licensee shall be of such design as not to be confused with uniforms worn by local police, or by any branch of the United States military. A badge may be worn by a registrant or licensee only while such individual is in uniform and on duty. A patch, at least 2 1/2" x 1/2", entitled "SECURITY" will be worn on the left upper sleeve .”
Should a security guard appear at your premises without a uniform, you may want to protect yourself by asking them to leave the premises and then contact their employer. Consider the potential for problems if the guard has a dispute with someone at our property, who can later state they had no idea the person was a security guard due to a lack of uniform.
At Pro+Plus Security, our uniforms have been approved by the state licensing board, and our guards are not permitted to work without it. Our supervisors come to the worksite to inspect guards uniforms.
CONFIDENTIALITY LAW FOR SECURITY GUARDS
According to state statute 16-48-1.8, a security guard and their PPO employer must respect and protect the confidential and privileged information of you as a client, even after they leave the position. Make sure the company you hire has licensed guards, and that they require a confidentiality agreement with their guards, like we do. The law also states that security guards cannot divulge information about their PPO security guard company employer, should they leave their employment for any reason.