DOL Clarifications for Armed Security Officers
The attached letter from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Licensing, is intended to clarify the rules associated with regard to where and when security officers can and cannot carry firearms (see link below). FASCO has worked diligently on behalf of the industry to iron out a basic agreement with the DOL as "Part I" of the clarification- a more in depth one is expected later this year. We would like to thank Michael Perotti, Ben Poitevent and Ed Dupuy for their help in this matter, they spent many hours crafting an outline and working with the DOL to come to a mutual understanding.
As you review the letter you will notice that we have focused our attention on several particular areas which were known points of contention for our industry. Specifically, we wanted to promote an understanding with the Division that reduced the number of times that a licensed employee would have to "arm" and "disarm" in the course of a single shift. In addition, we wanted to help establish a new level of clarity for all involved parties to ensure consistency in both the protocols of our profession and the enforcement of regulations applicable to armed security.
It is now undisputed that a properly licensed security officer may remain armed while on-duty and fueling the employer/Agency owned vehicle, using restroom facilities or purchasing food or beverage in a carry-out manner so long as any such acts are done in close proximity to the assigned post. Additionally, a properly licensed, armed security officer may render emergency humanitarian assistance without first disarming.
Areas which remain unresolved are commuting and movement to, from and between armed posts for officers who are not assigned to vehicle patrol duties. Admittedly this is an area which is complicated by the lack of uniform policies within the armed private security sector. For instance, one company may consider the employee on duty and capable of responding the moment the employee leaves their home while another employee may require actual presence on post prior to being considered on duty. A multitude of other factors require careful consideration prior to any consensus being reached between FASCO and the Division.
Rest assured we will continue our efforts to address the needs and protect the rights of our industry. As we proceed with the "fine tuning" measures of "Part II" we will be sure to keep you informed. We are more than happy to field your concerns and we appreciate your input. Thank you for your continued support in our endeavors of mutual interest and look forward to our future progress. If you are currently a member of FASCO, we thank you for supporting our efforts at making this industry better, it would not be possible without your support. If you have not joined yet, please do so as soon as possible, we have many issues to deal with in the upcoming year and need your support to be successful. Without the involvement of true practitioners such as yourself, the changes needed to our industry are difficult to accomplish and protecting our industry from the budget cuts almost impossible. Join Today!
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