Security Guard Screening & Training

security guard patrols a lotQuestions about the screening and training of security guards are in the news again. They come after officials learned that the shooter involved in the Orlando nightclub attack, Omar Mateen, was a security guard.

What is more troubling, though, is that the F.B.I. investigated him!

A Big Job reports that the bureau looked into Mateen’s activities for ten months. Their investigation involved following him and interviewing him twice. Ultimately, they decided he was not an important threat and closed out the investigation.

Clearly, there was something about Manteen that drew the attention of the F.B.I. Considering the length of the investigation and the fact that he was interviewed, what did they miss? Why couldn’t he be stopped?

The answer might be found in the amount of work the F.B.I. is doing today.

It has about 10,000 terror investigations open at any given time. One thousand of those focus on homegrown violent extremists. Agents are trying to move through them effectively and close those files that are not apparent threats.

But with 10,000 investigations going, it is a heavy workload and the agency is overworked.

Security Guard Guidelines

Since Mateen worked as a security guard, the Orlando shooting has also raised questions about screening and training in the security industry. The Associated Press set out to find answers to some common questions about security guards. Here’s what they found.


Nearly all 50 states require guards to be licensed. Only six do not. Some states, such as California, require a background check and the completion of training courses.

FBI Background Check

Thirty states require a F.B.I. Background Check. California is one of them. Ten others only require a state background check. That leaves only ten states that require no check at all. The State of California requires applicants to be at least 18 years of age and they must undergo a criminal history background check through the California Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Security Guard Training

Thirty-five states have state training requirements that applicants must meet. In California, security guards must complete the Power to Arrest training, 32 hours in security officer skills and eight hours of continuing training each year.

On top of the California requirements, American Security Force officers must complete additional classroom instruction and in-field training.

Requirements Are In Place

While the topic of training and screening guards is hot right now because of Mateen’s actions, it’s clear that the majority of states have licensing, background check and training requirements in place. There is room for improvement for those states that have no requirements.  But in the case of California, a state with policies that are particularly stringent, a higher caliber of security officer will be the result.

American Security Force is proud to build upon what the State of California requires. Our additional training ensures that our guards are ready to recognize, deter and halt any threat that might present itself.

Call today at 877-722-8585 to learn about how our additional security training benefits our customers.