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Thread: Oregon security officers

  1. #1
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    First, this is not a bashing thread and I don't want it to start one. Just looking for information.

    My questions is, what authority do Oregon security officers have? I know in some states that they have similar authority to a police officer. Can they detain you? Are they just supposed to be a paid observer? Just curious.

    Ken

  2. #2
    Founder's Club Member - Moderator Gray Peterson's Avatar
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    They're supposed to be paid observers.

    They have as much arrest authority as a private citizen.

    Also, under state law, an armed security officer's DPSST license is NOT a state statutory exemption from local bans on loaded carry under ORS 166.173. Though Beaverton has a specific exemption for DPSST guards, Portland does not for general DPSST guards (just the ones that work at banks). DPSST has recommended very strongly in the past that any armed guard working in the Portland Metro area get a CHL (also for protection against public building bans).

  3. #3
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    Lonnie Wilson wrote:
    They're supposed to be paid observers.

    They have as much arrest authority as a private citizen.

    Also, under state law, an armed security officer's DPSST license is NOT a state statutory exemption from local bans on loaded carry under ORS 166.173. Though Beaverton has a specific exemption for DPSST guards, Portland does not for general DPSST guards (just the ones that work at banks). DPSST has recommended very strongly in the past that any armed guard working in the Portland Metro area get a CHL (also for protection against public building bans).
    They often have LESS authority than a private citizen to arrestdue to company restrictions and liability issues.

  4. #4
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    Do keep in mind that most of them are authorized as agents of the property owner (through their contracts), and as such, can trespass someone.

    Most of the time, there are contractual limitiations to what the security dork can trespass for (usually, the contract will limit it to rules/codes of conduct/etc. set by property management or the property owner), but most property owners also seem to have a love affair with ridiculously broad rules. Like, "nobody may exhibit gang colors or symbols while on the property." Blue jeans? OMG GANG COLORS!! Yes, somebody else in the company I worked for managed to issue a 1-year trespass to someone he didn't like for wearing blue jeans... and property management bought it. And the person was employed at one of the stores there (and lost his job). Farking incredible.

    Another thing to keep in mind is that many secuirty companies make an effort to maintain good relationships with the LEO departments in the areas they work in to help ensure good police response times (or even responses at all) to our calls. (My boss claimed that he took each of the sheriff's and many of the police chiefs out for lunch monthly. I doubt the veracity of the story, but it is was it is.) I remember the one time we actually called Beaverton for a vagrant that refused to leave at one of our properties... Normally, I'd have just let the guy be, 'cause I was lazy as hell and he wasn't hurting anyone being there... but I happened to be on the phone with a skiddish dispatcher when I ran into him and he couldn't keep his freakin' mouth shut about how the government/police/security guards/and "man" were screwing him, even though I hadn't said a word to him... *sigh* And so, my dispatcher took it upon herself to call the police against my advisement, and hung up on me. (Which was, incidentally, real freakin' nice if it had actually been a dangerous situation. How about a conference or the hold button? At least keep the call recording going. Ugh.)

    48 seconds later the first officer was on scene (I went back and reviewed the tapes because I couldn't believe how fast they showed up... I didn't even think should could have made the call by the time someone arrived). By the end of the next minute, there were five officers there, including a sergeant who pre-empted himself on a domestic in progress, which he promptly responded to when he realized that our issue was extreme overkill...

    And they didn't even arrest the person, who (wisely) decided it was better to leave voluntarily.

    So the moral of the story is... often less authority to arrest than even a private citizen, but no reason to be rude to the security moron, either, 'cause you never know which one/agency will be buddy-buddy with the real cops. Either you're going to end up with the security dork, like me, that's lazy and doesn't really care so long as you aren't causing problems, or you're gonna get the one that's an *******/wannabe leo who's out lookin' to mess with you. Either way, polite goes a long way.

    Edit: The quick response time was probably more likely attrituable to the fact that the property was across the street from Beaverton PD, and that the incident occured right around a shift change (people either on their way in, or just heading out) than any other factor... But still, if you were the guy harassing the security dork, there is the remote possibility that you might end up with a bunch of LEOs on yer ass when you go to turn around.

    /very happy to no longer be a security dork

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