Security Guard Requirements in Kansas
Kansas security guards draw their authority from local officials. In some cases, a security guard is not licensed. The security guard will instead need to meet the standards of the employer. The businesses itself, however, may be subject to various laws. Employers often set requirements beyond those required by law.
Security guards can expect to meet certain basic requirements. They will need to be at least 18 years old. They will also need to merit public trust. Background checks are typically a very important part of the employment process; they may be comprehensive and include far more than just criminal history. The prospective employee may also be required to have a physical; this may include drug screening. Literacy skills are also important as security guards often take notes and write reports. Some national agencies administer personality or skill assessments.
Expectations vary by sector and setting. Some security guards interact with the public; in these instances, customer service is emphasized. In other cases, military or law enforcement training may be highly regarded. Security guards are typically not armed, but those that are can expect to meet additional standards. The minimum age is typically 21.
The following is a sampling of requirements, representing 2) several local jurisdictions 2) the Kansas public sector and 3) private security agencies that have recently sought employees in Kansas.
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Select a Kansas Security Guard Topic:
- Find Security Training Near You
- Requirements Set by Local Licensing Agencies in Kansas
- State Security Jobs
- Differing Job Expectations
Requirements Set by Local Licensing Agencies
Kansas security guards can often look to their city clerk for information about licensing, though in some cases, regulation may be at the county level. Different jurisdictions use different terminology. They may reference licenses or permits. Some use alternative terms like ‘merchant guard’.
Wichita issues private security permits. An individual must have drug screening before a temporary permit can be issued. The guard will need to complete a training program before a permanent permit can be issued. Information is available from the Wichita Police Department (https://www.wichita.gov/WPD/SupportServices/Pages/PSF.aspx).
Lenexa issues security guard permits (http://www.lenexa.com/police/faqs_securityguard.html). Individuals hired by security services are referred to as “security agents” in municipal code. Lenexa lists among the requirements reading and writing in English and notes that the security employee must have a driver’s license if driving will be required. Applicants are disqualified on the basis of felony conviction. A number of other crimes, including illegal drug possession, are disqualifying if they occurred within the prior five years. The background investigation is carried out by the employer. The city has set additional requirements for security services; services that employ armed guards must be insured.
Lawrence issues merchant guard licenses. Armed guards must complete a proficiency program; they are also subject to more stringent background checks. Additional requirements apply to professionals who run merchant guard businesses. Information is available from the City Clerk’s Office (http://www.lawrenceks.org/city_clerk/forms).
Topeka issues private security guard licenses through its police department (https://www.topeka.org/cityclerk/licenses/). Interested individuals may call 785-368-9456. Applicants can expect background investigation.
State Security Jobs
Public sector jobs represent a minority of the private security industry. However, civil service job descriptions can provide insight into employer expectations for competitive positions in both the public and private sector. Kansas civil service jobs are described on the website of the Kansas Department of Administration https://admin.ks.gov/offices/personnel-services/compensation-and-classification/job-classifications/protective-service-class-specs. Among the security-related positions are Capitol Area Guard and Safety & Security Officer.
A Capitol Area Guard provides security services at state facilities in Topeka. The minimum requirement is high school education or equivalency. There are two levels of responsibility officially recognized in state job classifications. A Capital Area Guard II will have supervisory duties; the distinguishing requirement is experience.
A Safety & Security Officer is responsible for other public areas; this may include college campuses. High school education or equivalency is also the minimum requirement for these positions. Some positions require a drug test. Some positions in the class group require a driver’s license and/ or Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) or Mobile Intensive Care Technician credential.
Differing Job Expectations
Recent nationally advertised job postings set standards high for Kansas security guards. Duties and requirements vary a good deal from position to position.
Multistate ‘GS-4’ placed an ad for security officer in Elwood. The posting states that the background check is extensive and that an individual with a military background would need to produce a DD-214 as a condition of hire. An armed guard would also be required to pass a physical and a psychological evaluation.
A retail position placed by another national agency cites communication and customer service skills as important. Physical skills include bending, twisting, running, and lifting up to 40 lbs. The hiring agency notes that the job requires constant walking and constant use of hands.
An ad for armed driver based in Topeka states that candidates need to be at least 21 years of age. Previous security guard experience and military backgrounds are both valued. The employing agency notes that the position may require a commercial driver’s license, though it will not necessarily be in hand at the time of hiring.