The Department of Public Safety (DPS) is responsible for training security guards in Arizona. What many people don’t know is that it is against the law for any person or agency to offer to provide security services unless appropriately licensed by the DPS. The days of informally offering to provide security services are long gone. In order to obtain an unarmed guard card, every applicant for a security position must have satisfied the DPS requirements, which include being fingerprinted and satisfactorily passing a background check. The DPS also has a few minimal requirements (such as being at least 18 years of age), and a list of disqualifiers (such as convictions for certain offenses) which would automatically prevent someone from being certified. A comprehensive list of these criteria may be found at the DPS website at by clicking on the link at the top left of the page labeled “Disqualifiers”.

Training security guards in Arizona is taken very seriously, and this works to the benefit of both employers and guards. There are serious liability issues which could arise if guards overstep their authority and injure someone in the process of trying to make an illegal arrest. Guards need to have a basic knowledge of the provisions of the Arizona Revised Statutes which apply to their duties. Guards need to know when, where and how they can make a lawful arrest. They also need to know the elements of specific crimes which they may encounter in their duties, such as:

1. Homicide
2. Assaults
3. Criminal Trespass and Burglary
4. Criminal Damage to Property
5. Arson
6. Theft
7. Robbery

Frequently security personnel are the first person at the scene of a crime. They need to know the basic elements of protecting the crime scene until the arrival of the police. If they make an arrest, they need to know the appropriate level of force they may use to overcome various levels of resistance. Guards also need to have a basic understanding of the laws of search and seizure, because performing an illegal search may invalidate an arrest. Guards also need to know who they can admit and who they can deny access to a crime scene.

The course also covers basic report writing skills, note taking and verbal communication. While few guard applicants understand the importance of good communication skills, savvy employers are well aware of how important human relations and writing skills are to someone working security. The course concludes with some basic instruction in the ethical responsibilities associated with a security position, and clarifies what utterances and behaviors may constitute sexual harassment.

Veterans Security is DPS approved to provide the state mandated course is 8 hours long, and is offered on a regular basis. If you are interested in attending, you should contact the local Veterans Security branch and inquire about DPS security guard training in Arizona.

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