Security Officer

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Maryland Security Guard Certification

Maryland security officer certifications are issued by the Maryland State Police. The certifications are issued pursuant to the provisions established by Title 19 Section 401 of Business Occupations and Professions provisions of the Maryland State Code.

To qualify for certification the applicant must be sponsored by a licensed security agency. The application may be denied if the applicant has been convicted of a felony or certain types of misdemeanors. Interestingly, there does not appear to be any age limitation codified in Maryland law. Thus, it may be possible for an applicant who is under the age of 10 to receive a certification from the state.

There are both exemptions and temporary waiver of certification processes. Law enforcement officers are exempted from licensing. And, security officers may work temporarily on a site while their application is pending approval.

The basic application fee isn't expensive. It is just $15. The officer should expect to pay a fee for fingerprint collection and processing. This fee is charged by a state authorized fingerprint collection service and the fee goes to them not the state. The fingerprint processing fee likely costs about $35. Officers who wish to work armed must pay for a handgun permit application. This costs $75. It also costs $10 to renew a security certification.

Applicants must submit two 2 X 2 passport sized photos of themselves in addition to the application packet.

Officers seeking transition to an armed license can do so by completing an application for a handgun permit. Unlike other jurisdictions, Maryland does not require the applicant to be 21 years of age to apply. This appears to allow 18 year old officers to receive a permit to carry while on duty.

The certification lasts for three years without needing a renewal. There are no obvious continuing education requirements for renewal. The officer must pay a renewal fee of $10.

Step by Step Guide

  • 1. Apply for employment at a licensed security firm. The State of Maryland requires the applicant for a security certification to secure sponsorship from a licensed security firm. A security agency may sponsor a person while he is only applying for a position with the company and does not have to wait until a hiring decision has been made. This expedites the application process.
  • 2. Download the application for a security certification. This application may be used for both a security certification and the handgun certificate which allows officers to work in an armed capacity.
  • 3. Visit a Maryland electronic fingerprint processing center. The State Police use these private facilities to capture the fingerprints of applicants. There will be a fee charged by the center. Simply google "Maryland electronic fingerprint processing" or a variation to find a center near you.
  • 4. Develop a list of personal references. These references should be prepared to vouch for the integrity of the applicant.
  • 5. Receive certification of qualification from a state approved firearm instructor. This is only necessary if the application is for a handgun permit in addition to the security certification. The handgun permit allows the officer to work armed. Those applying for a handgun permit should probably also apply for a body armor permit at the same time.
  • 6. Return the completed application. Ensure page seven and page 13 contain the required notarizations.

Special Police Commission

Maryland allows for special police commissions to be granted to privatized security officers. These commissions convey additional powers. Security officers posted at large facilities such as hospital or college campuses are probably more likely to receive these commissions.

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