II.D – Liability & Legal Aspects

California Security Officers with Registrations (guard cards) must receive 40 hours of training as follows:

  • 8 hours “Powers to Arrest” prior to an Officer standing post.
  • 16 hours of training within 30 days of issuance of registration, 8 of which must consist of two four-hour courses from the mandatory modules and 8 of which must consist of elective courses.
  • 16 hours of training within 6 months of issuance of registration, 8 of which must consist of the remaining two four- hour courses from the mandatory modules, and 8 of which must consist of elective courses.

This course module, titled Liability & Legal Aspects” is in compliance with Business and Professions Code Sections 7583.6 and 7583.7 and Title 16, Division 7, Article 9, Section 643 of the California Code of Regulations.

This course corresponds to module II.D of the BSIS Course Outline. This is a mandatory course under the Course Outline and satisfies the requirement for 4 hours of training under the mandatory section of the Security Officer Training Laws and Regulations.

II.D Liability & Legal Aspects – 4 hours

Course Outline & Syllabus Learning Goals

  • The officer will be provided with a broad overview of our State’s legal system in California as it pertains to criminal, civil and administrative laws.
  • The officer will understand the relationship between the security officer, the private patrol operator, and the client for whom they work.
  • The officer will be provided with an understanding of the difference between civil law and criminal law.
  • The officer will be provided with knowledge of the foundations for criminal law and those specific offenses that a security officer is most likely to encounter.
  • The officer will understand the laws of arrest as it pertains to private persons.
  • The officer will be provided with an understanding of the basis and types of liability a security officer and a security company can incur, including punitive damages.
  • The officer will be provided with knowledge of reducing risk for personal liability and for the company’s liability.
  • The officer will be provided with knowledge of the Business & Professions Code regulating the private security industry.
  • The officer will be provided with an understanding that the role of a security officer is often fluid and is dependent upon the contract and post orders in place between the PPO and its client.

California’s Legal System

  1. Legislative Branch (State Senate and Assembly)
  2. Executive Branch
    1. Law Enforcement
    2. Prosecutors
  3. Judicial Branch
    1. Courts: Interpret Laws and Apply Laws, Sentencing
    2. Jury: Determine Facts, Damages

Criminal Law and Civil Law: The Differences

  1. Criminal Law
    1. Loss of Liberty
    2. Felonies vs. Misdemeanors
    3. Arrest vs. Detention
    4. City/County Ordinances
  2. Civil Law
    1. Loss of Money
    2. Intentional Torts, Negligence
    3. Employment-related torts

Criminal Laws: Elements for Arrest

  1. Trespass and Crimes to land
  2. Burglary
  3. Theft and Larceny (grand theft, petty theft, embezzlement)
  4. Assault, Battery – Use of Force
  5. Searches and Seizures (warrants)
  6. Drugs & Alcohol, Disorderly Conduct
  7. Local Ordinances

Powers to Arrest by a Security Officer (brief overview only)

  1. Security Officer’s Authority; Private Persons Arrest
  1. Property Owner’s Authority ; Merchant Law

Civil Liabilities for Security Personnel

  1. Torts
    1. Negligence
      1. Defined
      2. Duty
      3. Foreseeability
      4. Special relationship / failure to protect
    2. False arrest or imprisonment
      1. Defined
      2. Power to arrest
      3. Probable cause
    3. Shopkeeper’s privilege
    4. Theft by employee
    5. 42 U.S.C. Section 1983 Liability (civil rights)
  1. Malicious prosecution / abuse of process
  2. Assault, battery and excessive force
  3. Use of force
  4. Defamation (libel, slander)
  5. Illegal detention / false imprisonment
    1. Interviewing / interrogations
  6. Right to privacy
    1. Searches
    2. Miranda warnings
    3. Drug testing
    4. Wiretapping
    5. Polygraph testing
      1. Factors to consider
      2. Consent form
    6. Credit checks
  7. Vicarious Liability
    1. Security officer (“course and scope” of employment)
      1. Principle liable for acts of agent
      2. Exceptions – “independent” contractors (defined and pitfalls)
      3. Intentional torts of agent
    2. Contractor/employer liability (provide security officer basic understanding of employer’s liability)
      1. Negligent (Improper) supervision of employee
      2. Negligent (Inadequate) training of employee
      3. Negligent hiring of employee
        1. Duty defined
        2. Documentation
        3. Background checks
        4. Delegate duty of background checks
        5. Employer’s actual knowledge of violent propensity
      4. Negligent retention of employee
      5. Intentional torts of agent
        1. Assaults
        2. Defending property
      6. Terrorist Acts
        1. High Profile Terrorist Attacks
        2. Car and truck bombs.
        3. Building destruction by novel means
      7. Workplace violence and restraining orders
        1. Role of security regarding termination of employees
        2. Violence at the workplace
        3. Personal restraining orders
        4. Corporate restraining orders
  1. Damages
    1. Compensatory damages
      1. Special damages/ economic damages
        1. Medical specials (bills)
        2. Loss of earnings
      2. General damages/emotional distress
    2. Punitive damages

Anatomy of a Civil Litigation

  1. The Claim,
  2. The Lawsuit (statute of limitations)
    1. Discovery
      1. Documentation
      2. Records
      3. The investigation
      4. Trial (jury or court)
      5. Conflicts of interest

Business & Professions Code (“Private Security Services Act”)

  1. What is a security officer and security services under the law and regulations?
  2. Requirements to be registered/licensed as a security officer.
    1. Understanding background checks
    2. Understanding training requirements
    3. Understanding renewal process and maintaining status
  3. The relationship between a security officer and a PPO
  4. Other laws and regulations governing private security
    1. Uniform and badge
    2. Firearms and weapons regulations
    3. Authorized defensive weapons: batons and chemical agents
    4. Mandatory reporting to BSIS for violent incidents

Administrative Law: Workers Compensation (Exclusive Remedy Doctrine); BSIS Procedures: License Revocations, Censures, Citations

Role of the Security Officer

Course Content

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About Instructor

L. Borgens

22 Courses

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Course Includes

  • 9 Lessons
  • 115 Topics
  • 2 Quizzes
  • Course Certificate