The Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services regulates the private security industry within Virgina. The Department regulates security and registers officers pursuant to Title 9.1 of the Virginia State Code and Chapter 171 of the state's administrative code.
Private security officers must register with the department. The registrant for an unarmed position must be at least 18 years of age and participate in 18 hours of training. An applicant can seek an armed officer registration by applying for the firearms certification. Unlike other jurisdictions, Virginia allows 18 year olds to apply for the firearms certification.
Applicants are not required to have employment at a security agency in order to secure a registration.
There are some costs related to registration. The applicant must pay $50 for a fingerprint card processing fee. Another $25 fee must accompany the actual application. Those seeking a firearms endorsement must pay another $10 as part of the application for the firearms endorsement.
A temporary registration may be provided while the applicant receives training and undergoes a background check. The department takes about 30 days to issue a temporary authorization. The temporary authorization allows the officer to work for up to 90 days while completing the training requirements and up to 120 days while awaiting the result of the background check.
Unarmed applicants must sit for 18 hours of training. Those who desire armed certification must take an additional 22 to 24 hours. Two of those hours are only necessary if the applicant needs to take shotgun training.
The registration lasts for 24 months. It must be renewed at that time. To qualify for renewal the unarmed registration holder must sit for four hours of continuing education. The armed security guard must sit for six to eight hours of continuing education prior to renewal. The last two hours are only necessary for shotgun training. There are several online continuing education options available.
Additionally, officers who receive a commission from a Virginia circuit court judge may apply for a Special Conservator of the Peace Commission. This commission allows the officer to hold law enforcement authority within the jurisdiction he is assigned to guard
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