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In 2006, the California Department of Consumer Affairs published a Security Guard Guide. It outlines the Business and Professions Codes that dictate firearm regulations, training and uniform requirements for security guards and the people and companies that employ them. It specifically states that nothing about a security guard's uniform can imply that he is affiliated with a government organization - whether federal, state, or local.
According to Chapter 11.5, Article 3 of California's Business and Professions Code, a private security guard uniform must have a patch on both shoulders and the upper left breast that reads "private security." In addition, the patch must include the name of the security company, and must be visible at all times while the security guard is on duty. Patches must be affixed both to shirts and to outerwear such as jackets or vests.
The security company's director must approve the patch designs, and the designs must be authorized by the state. The code states that designs must be "standard" and easily identifiable but doesn't specify what "standard" means.
Badges and Insignia
If a patch is not worn on the upper left breast of the uniform, then a badge must be worn. The badge must be distinctive and contain an insignia that is approved by the company director and authorized by the state. The badge must include the name of the company and an identification number unique to the employee.
The badge can only be worn while the guard is on duty and in uniform. It cannot be displayed at any other time on the guard, in a vehicle or elsewhere. A guard caught violating the badge and patch requirements is subject to a $250 fine, at the discretion of the company director.
Batons and firearms can only be worn by security guards who have the appropriate permits. Weapons must be visible at all times. In addition, security guards can only carry weapons while they're in uniform.
A guard who violates weapons codes can also be fined up to $250 by the company director.
Licenses and Permits
Though they don't have to be visibly displayed, certain licenses and permits must be carried by security guards while they're on duty.
Every security guard must be licensed by the state, and he must carry the license during working hours. In addition, permits are required for security guards to carry batons, tear gas or firearms. Those permits must be carried while on duty as well.
Violation of this code can also result in a $250 fine.
Stephanie Hamilton has been a freelance writer since 2001. Her work has appeared on several websites, including Troubled Teens, Eating Disorder Treatment, Adolescent Substance Abuse and Sprol. Hamilton earned an Associate of Arts in music and video from the Art Institute of Ft. Lauderdale. She currently studies international relations at Oakland University.