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Minnesota requires licenses for all security officers, also known as protective agents, and private detectives; The Minnesota Private Detective and Protective Agent Services Board grants these licenses. According to Minnesota Statute, a protective agent is anyone who performs the following duties for compensation: acting as a guard or patrol to protect a person from harm or property from theft, responding to any alarm device installed to protect against theft, controlling traffic to escort a funeral procession or oversize load, and providing crowd control to ensure safety. Protective agents are not allowed to describe themselves as law enforcement, police, sheriff, cop, or highway patrol.
Protective agent license candidates must have at least 6000 hours of documented relevant work experience; examples of relevant work experience are security work done for a licensed private detective or protective agent, and security or investigation work done for the US government, city police, or sheriff's office.
Written Application Request
If a candidate meets the experience requirement, they may submit a written request to the Private Detective and Protective Agent Services Board along with a nonrefundable fee; the written request should state the candidate is seeking a protective agent license at the individual level. The Board will mail out a application packet only after receiving a written request.
Applicants must submit a recent photograph of themselves with their application packet.
Protective agent license applicants must submit a criminal history form consenting to a background check and fingerprinting. Applicants who have a felony conviction, or other convictions for acts such as theft, extortion, and possession of narcotics with intent to sell and distribute are not eligible to have a protective agent license in Minnesota.
Applicants need five references from individuals not related to them by blood or marriage who have known them for at least five years. The reference letter should state the length and nature of association with the applicant and opinion of the applicant's suitability for a protective services career.
Applicants must have a surety bond of $10,000 filed for the state of Minnesota with an authorized surety insurer. The surety bond will pay for any future claims for damages suffered due to a protective agent's violation of Minnesota state law.
Handling of Liability
Applicants must demonstrate they are able to handle the cost of liability claims arising due to accidents or misconduct. Applicants can insure for general liability, completed operations, and personal injury; their policy must have a provision that requires the insurance provider to notify the Private Detective and Protective Agent Services Board at least 30 days priory to policy modification or cancellation. License applicants can also present either an irrevocable letter of credit from a financial institution in the amount of $10,000 or a financial statement from a licensed Certified Public Accountant (CPA) verifying a net worth of at least $10,000 for an individual license.
As of 2010, the Private Detective and Protective Agent Services Board has a $25 nonrefundable application fee to receive an application packet. A new individual protective agent license fee is $800; all fees are payable to the Board.
Based in Atlanta, Ga., Veronica King has been writing professionally since 2010. Having completed graduate studies in biological science and public health, she enjoys writing about health care, nursing and science. King holds a Bachelor of Arts in Hispanic studies from Columbia University.