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FBI Checks on Security Officers

Update on the Private Security Officer Screening Improvement Act (PSOSIA): In 2004, Congress passed the ASIS-supported Private Security Officer Employment Authorization Act (PSOEAA), which authorized all security officer employers to request (from their state) an FBI check on officers.  While many states already conduct FBI checks on security officers as part of a licensing regime, some states don’t license security officers or only license contract security, and other only do FBI checks on certain classes of licensed officers (e.g. armed guards). Thus, there are many security officers for which an FBI check is unavailable.

For the past six years, ASIS and the National Association of Security Companies (NASCO) have worked to get states not currently conducting FBI checks on security officers to start doing so pursuant to the PSOEAA.   So far, only three states -- Missouri, Colorado and Kentucky -- have set up PSOEAA FBI check programs. Also, Minnesota, under a PSOEAA “Alternate State” program, is performing PSOEAA checks for security officers in states that have no background checks at all (Alabama, Idaho, Kansas, Mississippi, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming).  However, while helpful, these State PSOEAA programs are not sufficient, and for tens of thousands of security officers there still are no FBI checks available despite a federal law that authorizes them.

In February 2012, with support from ASIS International and NASCO, Rep. Tom Marino (R-PA) introduced H.R. 4112 (the Private Security Officer Screening Improvement Act).   H.R. 4112 amends the PSOEAA to allow DOJ authorized “screening entities” to conduct PSOEAA FBI checks on private security officers for authorized employers when such checks are not available from the State of employment. The bill was co-sponsored by Reps. Pat Meehan (R-PA), Bobby Scott (D-VA) and Dan Lungren (R-CA).  While no action on the bill occurred by the end of the 112th Congress, ASIS International will support its re-introduction and consideration during the 113th Congress.