How to Be an Armed Security Guard in California?

If you are passionate about becoming an armed security guard in California, then you must do everything to qualify for a “Guard card.” A guard card is an excellent door for opening tremendous opportunities relevant to security careers across the West Coast. It’s a gateway to pursue all security jobs which you have been dreaming about for years. First, however, you must meet some legal requirements before getting a security guard card. However, before we jump into them, let’s walk through the basics of it.

What is an Armed Guard Card?

A guard card in California is a license required to become a registered armed security guard in California. To obtain a security guard license, you’re first needed to complete a pre-licensing course. This course is often referred to as a “guard card class” and is 8 hours long. It can take one day to complete.  Composed of two sections, namely “Power to Arrest and Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD),” this class can be taken online or via a certification agency. You do not become eligible to be an armed security guard right away, even after passing the written test. You would be required to finish another 16 hours of training within the first 30 days of your hiring. After this, another 16 hours of training would define your capability to become a security officer in the next six months until you have become finalized for holding the position.

What Does the Guard Card Training Includes?

The initial 8-hour class required for the training of an armed security guard can quickly be completed online or through an online training center. The first part of the known as “Powers to Arrest” is composed of a module designed to educate trainees on the legal aspects, liability, and other techniques required for arresting a person. It’s a four-hour training module consisting of content material, exercises, role-playing, and lectures.

The second part of the training program is called “Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) and Terrorism Awareness.” It focuses mainly on activities required to identify threats through observation and procedures for reporting precursor activities in terrorism.

Next, another 30-day training will be required after you have completed this course. This training comprises four main courses: Public Relations, Observation and Documentation, Communication and its Significance, and the Liability and Legal Aspects. Public relations usually deal with an armed security guard’s body language and behavioral aspects, expected to be demonstrated on duty. The observation and documentation cover different aspects of document work that security guards require on their jobs. Communication and its significance prepare security guards for effectively communicating their findings to the company they work for. This course usually involves the correct methods for contacting people and learning the workings of radios and monitors. In the last course, the liability and legal aspects shine a light on their jobs’ liability and legal rights, such as BSIS code information and education on administrative and civil policies.

The training doesn’t stop here. Another 16-hour long training course, including Post Orders and Assignments, Officer Safety Handling Difficult People, and Preserving the Incident Scene, remains. Therefore, a total of 40-hour training is required before one becomes a registered armed security guard in California.

How to Get a Security Guard Card to Become an Armed Security Guard?

Step 1:

Take the initial mandatory 8-hour class composing of two sections, “Power to Arrest” and “Weapons of Destruction and Terrorism Awareness.” You can either take it online or opt for a written test in a training center.

Step 2:

After completing the test, the applicant (you) and the private patrol operator must submit a security guard application online. The application is sent electronically to the Bureau.

Step 3:

The applicant (you) is then required to submit fingerprints through a live scan electronically. For this purpose, only the security guard live scan downloaded from the Bureau website can be used. The live scan from the Bureau has the correct coding for receiving FBI and DOJ responses.

Step 4:

The Bureau checks your criminal record to ensure whether you’re eligible for this position or not. You will then enter on a Bureau’s website. To verify the Bureau’s approval, check the ‘verify a license’ on the Bureau’s website. After clearing the registration process, a screen print can be used as an interim security guard registration. After this, in about 10-15 days, the actual security guard registration is mailed to you.

Step 5:

After receiving the actual security guard registration, you must keep the following documents with you.

•            A screenprint obtained from the Bureau’s website.

•            A valid photo identification.

Next, you will be required to complete a 16-hour class training within the next 30 days, followed by an additional 16 hours within the next six months.

How Much Money will you Need to Become an Armed Security Guard in California?

The cost of the guard card purchased online is $50, with a $1 online convenience fee. In addition, the fingers prints submitted through a live scan, the FBI charges $19, and the Department of Justice charges $32. This accounts for a total of $51. However, if you wish you’re applying the usual way, you would still be required to pay $50 minus the convenience fee of $1. But this process is time-consuming, and it requires postal charges for the mail to get delivered to you, which can cost you more than $1. Lastly, the 8-hour class costs about $44.95, but it’s worth the money because it ensures that all training programs meet the BSIS requirements.

One thing to be mindful of is that California is a state that doesn’t accept other states’ security guard cards. So, if you have served as a security guard in other states, you would still be required to go through all the training courses mentioned in this article. And If you need an armed security guard for yourself, then check out armed security guard services offered by United Security Services in California. With over a decade of experience,  some of the best-armed security personnel have been employed by them. Call them today to find out more.

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