Well maybe like 2 words : DON'T IMPERSONATE
You wouldn't even think there were actual rules regarding this given the fact of how many firms try to market themselves as paramilitary or private police.
Badges (don't use the 5 point sheriff's star)
Vehicle Lights (don't use any other color than Amber/Green)
Titles (don't use agent, sheriff, patrolman, trooper etc)
Don't use state seal
Uniforms (ID yourself as security)
It feels much like a series of DON'TS, but there is a section on regulated activity with only one sentence:
"Definition - Providing, or advertising as providing, the service of guarding persons or property for compensation."
Given how all these rules are relative to only one thing, they should of just added "and without pretentiously acting as a law enforcement or gov't agency."
Here's a link to the official handbook
So before I get to the repercussions of getting into a jiu jitsu match with a guard on duty, I wanted to clarify something.
Assault vs Battery:
The difference lies in whether or not someone was actually physically touched or if there was just a threatening intention to do so. Assault in general is when someone intends violence towards another but doesn't actually touch them. It becomes Battery only when someone is physically harmed. Things get even worse if there are weapons involved in which case it would become "aggravated assault" and "aggravated battery."
So, when it comes to these crimes committed against guards the laws are stricter than some may think. For instance, battery against a guard was reclassified from "a misdemeanor of the first degree to a felony of the third degree."
Naturally the consequences are elevated if it becomes aggravated. Check out the details here. You can also learn about the legal lingo around assault & battery here.
When we first launched we were excited about highlighting our app since it is our raison d'etre. Our marketing campaigns were solely focused on saying how we were app centered and that no other company in Florida was quite like us. We got some great responses, especially from guards who wanted to know what this was about.
Then came the haters, or the "in-security" companies trying to spam us. The claim was that other companies were also using software and apps if not for years.
THEY MISSED THE POINT ENTIRELY.
First of all there is nothing wrong with using apps as a supplement to your existing software. We think Voxer is pretty cool for radio communication, and slack is great for team management. But this isn't what the spammers were referring to.
Did you know that YellowCab, blue bird, and a host of other taxi companies have had "apps" for years? Why is that Lyft & Uber have had such better success with mobile users? It's because they didn't OUTSOURCE their stuff to a third-party developer. Even if you look now for apps from some taxi firms, you will notice that they themselves aren't listed as the developers. The problem with this is you get generic cookie cutter apps stamped with a companies logo.
This is exactly what is happening with security companies, including some of the biggest ones in the country. Even more, they don't usually ask a development firm to make them an app but rather pay to use an existing one. Most of the time this will be in the guise of a "patrol" app and look like it was made in 2007. This is exactly what the company that the spammer was referring to did, using a another firm that already has a security app and labeling it as their own.
So, is our app the same?
NOPE! We started working on SAYF over a year ago and are still continuing to add features. Not only are we a state licensed security guard agency with all the necessary credentials, but we are also the app company. What this allows us to do is similar to what it has done for uber & lyft, which is give us CONTROL over the most important part of our startup.
We aim for our guards/managers/clients to all be at a certain technological plane. This is why we give our guards iPhones and our contract Clients iPads. There are others that are trying to change the industry as well, but not so much in Florida.
This app is FLogrown and our vision is to flip the industry on it's head with it. If you are interested in joining us as either a guard, client, or even investor, feel free to reach us via the contact link at the top.
So I got a call once from a retired marine looking to do some part time work. He wanted to know what exactly he had to do in order to work in security. I told him basically what I'm about to tell you in regards to pre-employment procedures required by the state.
So, to get right into it--
As far as Florida goes, there are two types of guard licenses:
• "D" - General Security Officer License
• "G" - Statewide Firearm License ("D" is a prerequisite)
Managers & Instructors have their own designated licenses (M, DI, K..). For the most part in order to perform unarmed services an individual must have at least a "D" license. If they wish to perform armed services then they must additionally attain the "G."
A 40 hour classroom course is required to be completed for the "D" and an additional 28 hours for the "G." Its pretty much like any other class you would take with powerpoint presentations, videos, and of course testing. The "G" of course highlights firearm instruction and is different in that regard. Prices vary for the courses and can range from $118-500 depending on the school. A good place to search would be your local colleges who tend to offer these courses year round, but there are private institutes who are licensed to do this as well.
But to be honest, this isn't enough and any company that does employ guards must gauge applicant abilities during the interview process AND after. No joke, I once had a supervisor with a mug shot! It's important to always make it easy for guards to know what is expected of them and to additionally provide them with that information. There are great guards out there but in order to get them you have to set the bar a little higher.
So far around 83% of applicants to SAYF don't make it all the way through. In a future post I hope to further discuss the interview process for other companies including ours and the reason for our hiring rate.
If interested, some legit courses:
Tampa - HCC
Orlando - Valencia College
Miami - Miami-Dade College
Any UAS (unmanned aircraft system) aka Drone that weighs between 0.55-55lbs has to be registered with the Federal Aviation Administration. According to the registration website it states:
"You will be subject to civil and criminal penalties if you meet the criteria to register an unmanned aircraft and do not register."
With that said, its only about $5 to register and shouldn't take longer than a couple of minutes.
You can learn more or register your own drone here.
Our registration number is: FA3PMET737
We offer Drone Patrols!
Amber & Green--
Yup, those are the patrol light colors that every security agency in the state must use. It was done In an effort to clarify and distinguish the types of warning lights utilized by different service vehicles. That way we aren't confused with construction and road site assistance who also use amber lighting.
In reference to security the statute states:
"Vehicles owned or leased by private security agencies may show or display green and amber lights, with either color being no greater than 50 percent of the lights displayed, while the security personnel are engaged in security duties on private or public property."
You can learn more about statute 316.2397 here
Depending on the location a licensed guard can detain any individual for reasons such as:
1. "ascertain his or her identity and the circumstances of the person’s activity."
2. "probable cause to believe that a person has committed or is committing a crime..."
This is all dependent on whether the site under protection is considered a "critical infrastructure facility." Simply put, it's places like power plants, refineries, water treatment centers, secured areas that are vital to the society and economy at large.
Learn more about this statue here
12 hour graveyard security shifts was what my weekend consisted of for years as a college student. After heading out to grad school I started to get more and more into entrepreneurship & technology, which eventually led me to start programming. My affinity for it grew strong enough that I actually left my master's program in order to explore it further.
That was 3 years ago, and now I'm surprisingly back in the industry which I had thought of as only a means to an end. This time though, oh this time, I'm ready to change things up. It seems to have been an organic process in the making. I was developing software with efficiency in mind and at the same time the security service trade was still a decade behind. The more I thought about all of the unproductive practices that were so commonplace, the more I got eager to want to do something about it.
What needed to change:
So what did we do about these 7 points?
For us this is just a start and we hope to continue to innovate and change the way security services are utilized. Check out our blog for any new updates and most of all stay SAYF.