L3R – 3.3 General Qualifications

1.1      General Qualifications

TOC §1702.113 establishes the general qualifications for an applicant as a non-commissioned security officer and states that the applicant must be at least 18 years of age and must not:

  • At the time of application be charged under an information or indictment with the commission of a Class A or Class B misdemeanor or felony offense determined to be disqualifying by commission rule.
  • Have been found by a court to be incompetent by reason of a mental defector disease and not have been restored to competency.
  • Have been dishonorably discharged from the United States armed services, discharged from the United States armed services under other conditions determined by the commission to be prohibitive, or dismissed from the United States armed services if a commissioned officer in the United States armed services.
  • Be required to register in this or any other state as a sex offender.

Unless the person holds a license as a security services contractor, a person may not:

  • Act as an alarm systems company, armored car company, courier company, guard company, or locksmith company.
  • Offer to perform the services or engage in business activity for which a license is required.

Note: A person licensed only as a security services contractor may not conduct an investigation other than an investigation incidental to the loss, misappropriation, or concealment of property that the person has been engaged to protect.

As it relates to qualifications of a security officer, it is important to know key terminology as defined in the Texas Occupations Code.

I        Security Officer

An individual acts as a security officer if the individual is:

  • employed by a security services contractor or the security department of a private business; and
    • employed to perform the duties of an alarm systems response runner who responds to the first signal of entry, a security guard, security watchman, security patrolman, armored car guard, or courier guard.

II      Security Department

A security department acts as the security department of a private business if it:

  • has as its general purpose the protection and security of its own property and grounds; and
    • does not offer or provide security services to another person.

The security department of a private business may hire individuals who in the course of employment:

  • come into contact with the public
    • wears a uniform commonly associated with security personnel or law enforcement
      • any type of badge commonly associated with security personnel or law enforcement
      • a patch or apparel containing the word “security” or a substantially similar word that is intended to or is likely to create the impression that the individual is performing security services

Note: An individual who carries a firearm in the course of employment must obtain a private security officer commission.

Security departments shall maintain an individual’s criminal history record on file at the business and shall make the record available for inspection by the Department.

Note: The security department of a private business may not hire or employ an individual to perform a duty described by TOC §1702.222 if the individual has been convicted of a crime that would otherwise preclude the individual from being licensed under this chapter.

The Regulatory Services Division shall maintain a registry of security departments that provide notice of the intent to employ a commissioned security officer and the name, title, and contact information of the person serving as contact for each security department.

I        Guard Company

A person acts as a guard company if the person employs an individual or engages in the business of or undertakes to provide a private watchman, guard, or street patrol service on a contractual basis for another person to:

  • prevent entry, larceny, vandalism, abuse, fire, or trespass on private property;
  • prevent, observe, or detect unauthorized activity on private property;
  • control, regulate, or direct the movement of the public, whether by vehicle or otherwise, only to the extent and for the time directly and specifically required to ensure the protection of property;
  • protect an individual from bodily harm including through the use of a personal protection officer; or
  • perform a function similar to a function listed in this section.