A State by State Security Guard License Guide

Security Guard Requirements in Kentucky: Generally accepted standards to become a Security Guard in Kentucky

Kentucky does not license security guards, armed or unarmed. However, some may be subject to local regulations. Louisville, for example, licenses armed security guards.

There are, however, generally accepted standards that many security agencies follow. Some Kentucky positions are very competitive and above the national standard.

Select a Kentucky Security Guard Topic:

General Security Guard Expectations

Some security jobs are advertised directly by local businesses. Others are contracted through security agencies. Standards are typically delineated in a contract between the security agency and the company requiring security services.

Unarmed security guards are generally expected to be eighteen or older. They need to have work authorizations; some organizations require that they be citizens or permanent resident aliens. Prospective security guards can expect their backgrounds to be scrutinized. However, different jobs will require different sets of attributes. A high school diploma or GED is a common though not universal requirement. Security guards must have a requisite level of physical fitness. The organization may specify, for example, the ability to walk for two hours without sitting. Often, companies cite lifting ability. This can vary a good deal; the organization may note that the individual should be able to lift weights up to 25 lbs -- or up to 100.

Contract security companies may administer multiple assessments, inventorying skills, aptitudes, and personality traits. The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory may be administered at employer request. The prospective employee may be required to have a comprehensive physical; this may include a drug test as well as vision and hearing screenings.

A large security agency will typically administer in-house trainings. Previous knowledge or experience may, however, be valued. Some companies note a preference for previous employment in law enforcement, the military, or other related fields. Some companies consider those who do not have this experience but have degrees in field like criminal justice.

Kentucky Civil Service Security Positions

Some security officers work for governmental entities. Kentucky Human Resources cites multiple security-related state civil service roles (https://hr.personnel.ky.gov/Pages/JobSpecs.aspx). At the lower levels, minimum educational standards are not specified. At higher classifications (for example, security shift supervisor), they are. For security shift supervisor, Human Resources cites high school education and two years of experience, but notes that substitutions are allowable. Job descriptions do not reflect current openings. Actual standards may be higher.

Jobs located in Kentucky may also be under federal authority. Requirements may be quite high. One example is the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). A recent ad described a rigorous and competitive process with candidates taking computer adapted tests designed to measure English language proficiency and ability to interpret x-rays. Individuals who scored satisfactorily would go through other evaluations including a joint mobility exam and an interview designed to measure decision making ability and teamwork skills. Ultimately, candidates would be ranked as qualified, highly qualified, and best qualified. The Transportation Security Administration values national service experience.

Third Party Certifications

Employers may also value third party certifications. These are granted by private organizations, and don’t confer the legal right to work in jurisdictions where licensing is required. Certifications may be specific to a particular sector or work setting. Healthcare organizations, for example, may cite International Association for Healthcare Security and Safety (IAHSS) basic officer certification as desirable for their security officers. IAHSS basic certification is granted on the basis of examination (http://www.iahss.org/?page=certifications).

Louisville Armed Guard Requirements

The city of Louisville licenses armed security officers (http://louisvilleky.gov/government/codes-regulations/armed-security-agencies-companies-guards). In order to qualify, one must be a U.S. citizen, at least 21 years of age. The individual cannot have had misdemeanor convictions during the most recent two year period. In many cases, a felony conviction is permanently disqualifying. An exception exists if the person has been granted a pardon or had civil rights restored and explicitly been granted the right to carry a firearm pursuant to the Federal Gun Control Act.

The guard must have an acceptable mental health history. He or she cannot have been adjudicated incompetent. An individual who has been hospitalized for a mental disorder of substance abuse issue may be required to provide documentation of fitness from a doctor or clinical psychologist.

An individual will be denied licensure on the basis of dishonorable discharge from the military (https://louisvilleky.gov/government/codes-regulations/armed-security-agencies-companies-guards).

The prospective armed guard will complete a training program and go through an examination process. Training will cover the following:

  • Orientation and note taking
  • Fire prevention
  • Security officer legal basis/ limitations
  • Security officer's use of arrest, force, search and seizure
  • Defensive tactics/ alternatives to firearms usage
  • Crowd control
  • First aid
  • Report writing
  • Firearms qualification

Armed Guards: Other Standard Setters

Those who need a license to carry concealed deadly weapons (CCDW) will find resources on the website of the Kentucky State Police (http://kentuckystatepolice.org/ccdw/ccdw_faq.html). Training is required; individuals can contact their local sheriff’s office to find about approved instructors in their area. There are also general eligibility requirements. Licenses are denied on the basis of felony convictions or misdemeanor convictions involving domestic violence.

The CCDW will not necessarily be a legal requirement. However, armed security officers may find that their employers expect them to meet standards at least on a par with CCDW. Employers may value law enforcement training or experience earned in the military.

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