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Thread: Legal question re: security guards' uniform requirements

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    Regular Member Las Vegan's Avatar
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    Legal question re: security guards' uniform requirements

    I know there are a couple of people here who have legal background/experience so I'm hoping for some help (not legal advice, just help finding info). I know that the PILB is the governing body that has authority over security guards in the state of Nevada and that they have specific rules that cover uniform requirements, but I'm having a heck of a time finding specific information online.

    Say an armed security guard works for a security company and is posted on a client's property in Clark County where he deals with the public. The guard in question is wearing a metal badge that declares him to hold a specific job for which he is not currently employed (say the badge says something like "Fugitive Recovery Agent" or "Anti Terrorist Task Force," in other words nothing that brands him as a law enforcement officer per se but does misrepresent his current assignment, duties, and authority).

    Also he does not wear any item of uniform that specifically uses the words "Security" or "Security Officer." In addition he wears a military pin on his uniform that he may or may not have actually earned while serving in the military, one that is difficult to earn and rarely awarded. Finally, what authority does a private security officer have to demand that a member of the public provide a drivers license or other form of identification?

    The PILB does state that a uniformed security officer must wear a uniform approved by the PILB, but I can't find documentation online that covers 1) whether or not the words "Security" or "Security Officer" must be visible, 2) whether or not a badge that misrepresents the current assignment may be worn, 3) the legality of wearing military awards in conjunction with an approved uniform, or 4) the right of a non-law enforcement officer to demand I.D.

    Yes, I will check directly with PILB if necessary but I'm hoping in the meantime that someone will know of specific NRS codes or NAC or PILB regulations. Thanks in advance for any help.
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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    re: private investigators - as opposed to security guards http://www.leg.state.nv.us/NAC/NAC-648.html

    Could not find anything in the Administrative Regulations http://www.leg.state.nv.us/Register/...ER_KEYWORD.htm

    Suggest you call (or visit) the PILB office and ask someone the person behind the counter calls to come up from the back.

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    Campaign Veteran MAC702's Avatar
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    Can't help, but those are good questions!
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    I private citizen or a security guard can't demand anything in regards to identification. Regardless if they are wearing a correct uniform/badge.

    Law Enforcement can only ask for a drivers license for a traffic stop or ask you to identify, if they have a reason to suspect that you've committed a crime. You've heard the arguments, seen the videos.

    The only thing private citizens and security guards (if they truly represent the owner of the property) can do, is ask you to leave the property.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FallonJeeper View Post
    The only thing private citizens and security guards (if they truly represent the owner of the property) can do, is ask you to leave the property.
    This. A lot. **** off, you can't have my ID. I'm leaving."
    Last edited by Grapeshot; 11-09-2015 at 03:12 AM.

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    Regular Member garand_guy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jfrey123 View Post
    This. A lot. **** off, you can't have my ID. I'm leaving."
    "Show me your ID." They'd wut hard over that.
    Last edited by Grapeshot; 11-09-2015 at 03:12 AM.
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    Regular Member DeSchaine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jfrey123 View Post
    This. A lot. **** off, you can't have my ID. I'm leaving."
    Yeah... that might not work. Depending on NV state law, the guard may have the full authority to detain you while he or she contacts law enforcement. I don't recommend telling them to "**** off."

    To the OP, try calling or visiting the US Security Assc. office in Vegas and asking them. http://www.ussecurityassociates.com/...a-nv/index.php
    Last edited by Grapeshot; 11-09-2015 at 03:13 AM.
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    Campaign Veteran MAC702's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FallonJeeper View Post
    ...The only thing private citizens and security guards (if they truly represent the owner of the property) can do, is ask you to leave the property.
    They can detain you for the police if you commit a crime, even if only within the power of a citizen's arrest.
    "It's not important how many people I've killed. What's important is how I get along with the people who are still alive" - Jimmy the Tulip

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    Quote Originally Posted by MAC702 View Post
    They can detain you for the police if you commit a crime, even if only within the power of a citizen's arrest.
    That too.

    NRS 171.126  Arrest by private person.  A private person may arrest another:

    1.  For a public offense committed or attempted in the person’s presence.

    2.  When the person arrested has committed a felony, although not in the person’s presence.

    3.  When a felony has been in fact committed, and the private person has reasonable cause for believing the person arrested to have committed it.

    (Added to NRS by 1967, 1402)

    They'd get the usual "what crime am I suspected of committing?" and "Am I free to go?"

    Good luck with the citizen's arrest. I've rarely seen it pulled off successfully. That's a law suit waiting to happen.

    But, I wasn't getting, from the OP, that a crime had been committed, simply a security guard asking for ID.
    Last edited by FallonJeeper; 11-09-2015 at 05:28 PM.
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    Regulations regarding guards would be contained in state statues. Search there.

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidmcbeth View Post
    Regulations regarding guards would be contained in state statues. Search there.
    Not so in all states.

    In Virginia "regulations" are rules of state agencies and not found in the statutes.
    Last edited by Grapeshot; 11-09-2015 at 05:46 PM.
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    Regular Member Las Vegan's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies. Since all of my questions were specific to the authority of security guards, I stopped by the P.I.L.B. office here in Las Vegas, which is the governing body for the security industry in this state. I spoke with a compliance enforcement officer who was very helpful, and all of my questions were answered. Thanks, all.
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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Las Vegan View Post
    Thanks for the replies. Since all of my questions were specific to the authority of security guards, I stopped by the P.I.L.B. office here in Las Vegas, which is the governing body for the security industry in this state. I spoke with a compliance enforcement officer who was very helpful, and all of my questions were answered. Thanks, all.
    Care to share?
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    Campaign Veteran MAC702's Avatar
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    Yeah, ditto. You posted the questions for us to muse and ponder with you. Seems only fitting to let us know what the official answers were.
    "It's not important how many people I've killed. What's important is how I get along with the people who are still alive" - Jimmy the Tulip

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    Regular Member Joe LeFors's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Las Vegan View Post
    Thanks for the replies. Since all of my questions were specific to the authority of security guards, I stopped by the P.I.L.B. office here in Las Vegas, which is the governing body for the security industry in this state. I spoke with a compliance enforcement officer who was very helpful, and all of my questions were answered. Thanks, all.
    From one Nevadan to another Nevadan I'm glad you found answers to your questions. Good luck with your endeavors

    JL

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    Regular Member Las Vegan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    Care to share?
    Quote Originally Posted by MAC702 View Post
    Yeah, ditto. You posted the questions for us to muse and ponder with you. Seems only fitting to let us know what the official answers were.
    Lol, sorry guys.

    1) Currently the P.I.L.B. does not require the words "Security" or "Security Guard" to be visible on a jacket worn over the uniform. Each security company must submit any proposed uniform for their approval, but security companies are not required to have their employees wear any uniform at all. That one surprised me. Covering the approved uniform and thus possibly taking on the appearance of a law enforcement officer (i.e. black BDUs or tan slacks, duty belt with pistol and other accoutrements, jacket without any designation displayed) seems to fall into a bit of a gray area as long as there is no apparent blatant attempt to misrepresent oneself as an LEO through one's words, actions, or appearance (more on that next).

    2) Badges either have to be specific to the company's approved uniform, or else generic and not similar to local law enforcement. In other words, no state seal, and no slogan like "To Protect and Serve." Also they cannot misrepresent the job or assignment of the officer, so no title like "Anti Terrorist Homeland Security Death Dealing War Machine," just "Security Officer" or something similar.

    3) P.I.L.B. holds no stance on military pins or similar embellishments (again, surprised by that one), but they do point out that the specific security company's uniform code may address it, and also that the branch of the military purportedly being represented may have something to say about it.

    However, I did find this United States Code online:

    10 USC § 771 - Unauthorized wearing prohibited

    771- Except as otherwise provided by law, no person except a member of the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marine Corps, as the case may be, may wear—

    (1) the uniform, or a distinctive part of the uniform, of the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marine Corps; or

    (2) a uniform any part of which is similar to a distinctive part of the uniform of the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marine Corps.

    Also there's a letter here from the Undersecretary of Defense that goes into great detail on this matter. Bottom line for the situation discussed here is a big No Way José.

    4) Everyone pretty much nailed this one. Security officers have no more legal authority than any non-law enforcement officer to demand I.D. or detain anyone outside of the proscribed circumstances for a citizen's arrest; furthermore using the individual's information (assuming that they actually provide such and don't just stroll away) to run any type of check on their legal status or for any other purpose is flat out unauthorized.
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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    While there may be cases where wearing part of a military uniform was deemed illegal and prosecuted, I suspect this offense is largely overlooked.

    Think of all of the hunters making use of same, the popularity of the style among members of particular groups - high school and college students, paint ballers, and even ex miliary + wannabes. Many still have patches and more.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    I was stopped at UMC a few years ago, The security guard was uniformed (extremely close to metro's ) He told me I could not wear my Biker gang outfit in the hospital. I have never belonged to a club, but was wearing the leather vest, common to motorcyclists. We went back and forth a little, then I asked him what level of POST (Police officers Standards and Training) He had achieved. His partners look told me everything I needed to know. I then asked them to provide Peace Officer ID's Since they were detaining me under color of law. They then relented saying I was acting out so bad that they would let me slide this once. I said fine, Lets go see your supervisor. I spent the next three weeks wearing out administration at the hospital in writing.

    The moral of the giant paragraph is, when dealing with security, Asking what their Post certification level is, can be an effective tool, when used in the right circumstances. Us OC'ers need tools.

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DON`T TREAD ON ME View Post
    I was stopped at UMC a few years ago, The security guard was uniformed (extremely close to metro's ) He told me I could not wear my Biker gang outfit in the hospital. I have never belonged to a club, but was wearing the leather vest, common to motorcyclists. We went back and forth a little, then I asked him what level of POST (Police officers Standards and Training) He had achieved. His partners look told me everything I needed to know. I then asked them to provide Peace Officer ID's Since they were detaining me under color of law. They then relented saying I was acting out so bad that they would let me slide this once. I said fine, Lets go see your supervisor. I spent the next three weeks wearing out administration at the hospital in writing.

    The moral of the giant paragraph is, when dealing with security, Asking what their Post certification level is, can be an effective tool, when used in the right circumstances. Us OC'ers need tools.
    I am reminded of the old adage: There is no tool, like an old tool.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DON`T TREAD ON ME View Post
    I was stopped at UMC a few years ago, The security guard was uniformed (extremely close to metro's ) He told me I could not wear my Biker gang outfit in the hospital. I have never belonged to a club, but was wearing the leather vest, common to motorcyclists. We went back and forth a little, then I asked him what level of POST (Police officers Standards and Training) He had achieved. His partners look told me everything I needed to know. I then asked them to provide Peace Officer ID's Since they were detaining me under color of law. They then relented saying I was acting out so bad that they would let me slide this once. I said fine, Lets go see your supervisor. I spent the next three weeks wearing out administration at the hospital in writing.

    The moral of the giant paragraph is, when dealing with security, Asking what their Post certification level is, can be an effective tool, when used in the right circumstances. Us OC'ers need tools.
    Very interesting thread. For 10 years I work part time plain clothes security for one of the largest venues in Nevada. First time I have ever heard of Police officers Standards and Training or Peace Officer ID's in regards to a private properties security.
    All we have is a company ID card saying security. If the issue is elevated we have back up by unformed company security, I’m assuming they would be aware of the Police officers Standards and Training or Peace Officer ID's. If serious we will call our command for metro that is stationed at the event. I am always amazed how many will give up their ID to the private property uniformed security.

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    Regular Member Las Vegan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 28kfps View Post
    I am always amazed how many will give up their ID to the private property uniformed security.
    Ditto.
    "The right of self-defense never ceases. It is among the most sacred, and alike necessary to nations and to individuals."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    While there may be cases where wearing part of a military uniform was deemed illegal and prosecuted, I suspect this offense is largely overlooked.
    There is no law prohibiting you from wearing part of a uniform. The law prohibits you from wearing items which specifically identify you as military when you are not entitled to them, and generally this WILL be overlooked unless there is apparent intent to deceive. This would be an additional charge piled on following an arrest for, say, fraud.

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DVC View Post
    There is no law prohibiting you from wearing part of a uniform. The law prohibits you from wearing items which specifically identify you as military when you are not entitled to them, and generally this WILL be overlooked unless there is apparent intent to deceive. This would be an additional charge piled on following an arrest for, say, fraud.
    Au contraire, there is indeed such a law, actually laws if you wish to dig deeper.

    Title 10, Subtitle A, Part II, Ch 45 covers the wear of the uniform and states:
    Sec. 771. Unauthorized wearing prohibited
    Except as otherwise provided by law, no person except a member of the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marine Corps, as the case may be, may wear -
    (1) the uniform, or a distinctive part of the uniform, of the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marine Corps; or
    (2) a uniform any part of which is similar to a distinctive part of the uniform of the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marine Corps.
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2007/5/31/341273/-

    There is Also the Stolen_Valor_Act_of_2013
    Last edited by Grapeshot; 11-20-2015 at 05:44 AM.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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