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A Guide to Becoming a Licensed Security Officer in Colorado
Colorado is one of the fastest growing states in the country. As such, there is an abundance of jobs in the contract security guard business. Precisely how many is hard to tell, as Colorado remains one of only nine states that do not regulate security guards or security companies on a statewide level.
According to a 2020 Denver Post report more than 6,500 licensed security guards work in the city – that’s more than four times the size of the Denver Police Department.
While bills have been introduced in the Colorado House to standardize the occupational and training requirements for unarmed security guards, and Colorado does require security officers to be licensed, applications are handled at the County level. That means training standards and licensing fees vary from one county and city to the next.
For example, the city of Denver mandates that new security guard applicants attend 16 hours of Denver Police Department-approved training, while the city of Colorado Springs requires only eight hours.
Both cities require eight hours of license renewal training each year. Some smaller cities and rural areas have no license requirements at all.
This can make the application process confusing and difficult, especially for people coming from other states or even moving in state.
So, the first and most important piece of advice here is to contact the City Clerk in the jurisdiction in which you seek employment as a security guard. They will have the specifics for obtaining a Guard Card in that Colorado city and county.
Colorado requirements for unarmed security officers
However, there are several requirements – and disqualifiers – that are common across the state of Colorado for unarmed security officers. Let’s take look at those:
- Applicants must be at least 21 years old and be a Colorado resident. You will be asked to produce a valid Colorado state driver’s license and Social Security card. You may be asked to provide the make, model, and license plate number of the vehicle that will be used in your employment as a security guard.
- Applicants must provide a medical certificate stating you are in good health and physically capable of performing the duties of a security guard. Only a physician, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant certified by the Colorado State Board of Medical Examiners can administer this certificate, and it is only valid within 60 days of filing your security guard application.
- All applicants must submit to an FBI background check to ensure they are eligible for a security guard license and are of good moral character. This will include fingerprinting. FBI background checks must be run within 30 days of submitting your application. Applicants are often responsible for the fees. Felonies are usually immediate disqualifiers. If you have misdemeanors in your past, attempt to have your record expunged before beginning the background check process.
- Applicants must have at least three letters of reference from non-family members, plus a letter of intent. The letter of intent is written and submitted by a prospective employer stating that they will hire you after receiving your license as a security guard. This letter must be submitted no later than 30 days after the license application is submitted.
- Applicants must obtain a state license before starting employment as a security guard. This will require a county-specified number of hours covering mandatory training topics including but not limited to:
- Communication skills
- Crowd control & de-escalation tactics
- Legal use of force
- Ethics and legal issues
- Emergency situations/CPR training
- Report writing
- Interaction with law enforcement officers
- Detainment of suspects
A certificate of training completion is required to prove the applicant has completed the mandatory training. That certificate must be verified and included as part of your application.
Also, note that different jurisdictions will have different standards for passing exam grades. (Further, armed security officer licensing requires additional training for a concealed carry permit for a firearm, knife, nightstick, and mace. Officers must be in good standing as an unarmed security guard before beginning training for an armed guard license.)
- Security guard licenses are valid for a period of one year from date of issuance or renewal. Eight hours of continuing education each year are required to renew a license.
- When on shift employees must wear a uniform that clearly identifies them as a contract security officer and carry their license (a.k.a. Guard Card) and photo ID with them at all times. If a motor vehicle is used for patrols, it must comply with rules for markings and equipment as a commercial vehicle. Security guard uniforms and patrol cars cannot closely resemble those of authorized law enforcement in their jurisdiction.
- Post-hiring, security guards will be subject to random drug testing. A positive test for illegal substances can result in the suspension or revocation of your license.
Get Your Colorado Security Guard Career Started Today
In Colorado only state-eligible training providers can issue certificates of completion for submission to the County or City Clerk for an unarmed security officer license.
In order to become an eligible training provider, businesses must submit their lesson plans, curricula, and course materials to the licensing authorities in the local jurisdiction for review and approval.
We have done just that. Our self-paced, online unarmed security officer training programs are guaranteed to meet Colorado’s unique security guard licensing requirements.
Defencify courseware is created by instructional designers working in concert with Colorado state and local licensing authorities to ensure students in every county get the training necessary to receive a state-certified certificate of completion upon passing the final exam.
Course modules incorporate games and interactive scenarios with built-in knowledge checks to reinforce learning points.
Students can take Defencify courses at the time, place, and on the device of their choosing, and take modules as many times as necessary to absorb the knowledge. We made becoming an unarmed security guard in Colorado easy.
Looking for a security guard position in Colorado? Visit defencifytraining.com to learn more. Seeking to train your workforce on the skills needed to achieve and maintain certification as unarmed security guards in Colorado?
Sign up for a free trial of Defencify’s courseware offerings and see how Defencify can get your new hires into the field faster.