NYS Seal

ASSEMBLY STANDING COMMITTEE ON CODES

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING


SUBJECT:

To Examine the Impact of Private Security Practices on Public Safety in New York State

PURPOSE:

To consider whether legislation is needed to encourage or require upgraded training for private security personnel, improvement in working conditions, and improved training and coordination of private security efforts with law enforcement and homeland security personnel.

Thursday, October 12, 2006
Assembly Hearing Room
250 Broadway, Room 1923, 19th Floor
New York, New York
10:00 A.M.


In the aftermath of the horrific September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on New York and the nation, new laws have been enacted, many new security procedures have been put in place and additional funds have been expended in an effort to prevent an additional terrorist attack and assure a swift and effective response to any such attack. Yet it appears little attention has been paid to one group of persons who also serve at the forefront of the anti-terror fight: private security guards. Thousands of persons are employed as licensed security guards in New York State. While a licensed security guard must have at least twenty-four hours of initial training, it is not clear that such training will include how to identify potential threats, and how best to respond to different types of attacks. Additionally, despite the importance of these positions, low pay and poor working conditions often leads to a high turnover of employees and thus, in some instances, limited experience within a security team.

Private security guards are a needed presence throughout numerous important public and private institutions. It is important that we consider whether these workers have the tools, training and working conditions necessary to perform their duties effectively in collaboration with law enforcement and homeland security officials.

Note:

Persons wishing to present pertinent testimony to the Committee at the public hearing should complete and return the enclosed reply form as soon as possible. It is important that the reply form be fully completed and returned so that persons may be notified in the event of emergency postponement or cancellation. Oral testimony will be limited to ten (10) minutes' duration. In preparing the order of witnesses, the Committee will attempt to accommodate individual requests to speak at particular times in view of special circumstances. These requests should be made on the attached reply form or communicated to the Committees' staff as early as possible. Twenty (20) copies of any prepared testimony should be submitted at the hearing registration desk.

The Committee would appreciate advance receipt of prepared statements. In order to further publicize these hearings, please inform interested parties and organizations of the Committees' interest in receiving testimony from all sources. In order to meet the needs of those who may have a disability, the Assembly, in accordance with its policy of non-discrimination on the basis of disability, as well as the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), has made its facilities and services available to all individuals with disabilities. For individuals with disabilities, accommodations will be provided, upon reasonable request, to afford such individuals access and admission to Assembly facilities and activities.



SELECTED ISSUES TO WHICH WITNESSES MAY DIRECT THEIR TESTIMONY:

  1. What role do private security guards play in New York's homeland security efforts? Are security officers offered appropriate information and training? Should more be done to integrate private security employees into local, state and federal terrorism prevention and response planning?

  2. What career opportunities exist in the private security industry? What effect does turnover of private security employees - particularly licensed security guards -- have on the effectiveness of these security forces and on homeland security generally? How do pay, benefit and job security issues affect employment turnover and length of service?

  3. Does the role of a private security guard in New York vary based on the location protected? Does training differ based, for example, on whether the location protected is an office building or warehouse; a power plant or farm; etc. Are additional or specialized training programs needed?

  4. The current statutory training requirements set forth in General Business Law 89-n, are as follows:

    • an eight hour pre-assignment training course;

    • an on the job training course to be completed within ninety working days following employment, consisting of sixteen hours and a maximum of forty hours;

    • a forty-seven hour firearms training course for issuance of a special armed guard registration card;

    • an eight hour annual in-service training course; and

    • an additional eight hour annual in-service training course for holders of special armed guard registration cards.

    Are these standards sufficient, appropriate and up-to-date? Do state and/or local government officials participate in the training of security guards? Is training available in convenient locations, and at reasonable cost?



PUBLIC HEARING REPLY FORM

Persons wishing to present testimony at the public hearing on "To examine the impact of private security practices on public safety in New York State" are requested to complete this reply form as soon as possible and mail, email or fax it to:

Shannel Arrington, Legislative Analyst
Assembly Committee on Codes
Room 508 - The Capitol
Albany, New York 12248
Email: arrings@assembly.state.ny.us
Phone: (518) 455-4313
Fax: (518) 455-4682


box I plan to attend the public hearing on "To examine the impact of private security practices on public safety in New York State" to be conducted by the Assembly Committees on Codes in New York City on Thursday, October 12, 2006.

box I would like to make a public statement at the hearing in NYC. My statement will be limited to ten (10) minutes, and I will answer any questions which may arise. I will provide twenty (20) copies of my prepared statement.

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