Indianapolis Leaders Introduce “Safe And Secure” Bill to Improve Training for Security Officers, Make City Safer
As security officers across the country are calling for improved standards in the security industry, elected leaders in Indianapolis are proposing an ordinance that would make the city safer.
Currently, Indiana has no regulations for training private security officers, in spite of the fact that they protect millions of lives and billions of dollars worth of property. But Marion County elected officials and community members are working to change that. The “Safe and Secure” Bill, introduced by City-County Council Minority Leader Joanne Sanders, would require private security officers to undergo background checks, at least 8 hours of general training, and, for armed officers, 16 hours of training by a certified NRA instructor.
Sanders introduced the bill at a press conference recently in Indianapolis, alongside Sheriff-Elect Colonel John Layton, Pastor Willoughby from the Promise Land Christian Community Church and Pierre Pullins, a private security officer who lives and works in the Indianapolis area.
Sheriff-elect John Layton said law enforcement has an interest in well-trained security guards because they often are first on the scene after crimes. “Police officers and deputy sheriffs in Marion County will welcome any type of training for these security officers,” Layton was quoted as saying in The Indianapolis Star.
“The private security industry lacks any regulation or oversight,” Sanders said. “These officers guard buildings vital to Indianapolis, and it is important that we ensure these officers are properly trained. Otherwise, we are risking the lives and safety of not only these officers, but all Hoosiers.”
According to the 2010 Safe and Secure report card,released by SEIU Local 1, Indiana received an “F” for failing to require background checks, initial or refresher training or licensing of officers. The report, a state-bystate evaluation of laws regulating the security industry, ranks Indiana 43rd in the entire country.
WIBC Radio reports that Indiana is one of 25 states without any training requirements. Community leaders and security officers hope passage of the new bill will begin to improve standards. “The law sets the bar extremely low, relatively speaking. But at least it puts a bar in there somewhere. ” writes Austin Considine in Indiana’s alternative newspaper Nuvo.
Security officers across North America have been speaking out since April to help create good jobs and improve public safety by raising security industry standards, and have been working to form unions in an effort to improve job conditions and training.