New law will improve the job of security guards
Last July, a Jersey City police officer was shot by a man who had assaulted a drugstore security officer and stole his gun. Almost a year later, the New Jersey Senate’s Law and Public Safety Committee had approved a bill that would expand regulations on security guards in New Jersey.
“Melvin Santiago’s Law,” named for the fallen police officer, will extend the Security Officer Registration Act for security guards who have been hired by private companies. This means that privately hired security guards must register with the Superintendent of State Police and complete an education and training course. In addition, armed security officers must carry a “level three” holster for their weapon — a holster that offers more security features than a lower level holster.
What is the purpose of this bill? Currently, only security guards who are employed by a security officer company is required to register with the superintendent. With this bill, security guards will not have the same training and education. Since they are generally the first responders at the scene of a crime, they will have the right knowledge to know what to do next. In addition, these security guards will also be the prime contact for the police and, thanks to the proper training, they will know the correct information the police will need before getting to the scene. That way, a tragedy like an officer gunned down in the line of duty may not happen again.
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