Can You Be a Security Guard in California if You Have a Criminal Record?
Finding employment is never an easy task for people who have criminal records, and this is no different for individuals who are considering becoming security guards. As a general rule, the ability to become a security guard with a criminal record depends on the severity and type of conviction. Applicants are usually considered on a case-by-case basis. However, in California, it’s possible to become a security guard as a former criminal. Here’s what to keep in mind.
Criminal Records Don’t Prevent Eligibility
In many areas, a criminal conviction won’t technically prevent a person from working as a security guard. While a prior conviction won’t automatically prevent eligibility, former criminals may still experience difficulties. In California, two types of convictions can bar someone from getting a guard card: felonies and violent crimes. However, it may still be possible to obtain a Certificate of Rehabilitation. If a former criminal obtains this certificate, he or she can’t be denied a professional license based on a felony conviction.
Felons Must Obtain Certificates of Rehabilitation
Obtaining a Certificate of Rehabilitation allows an individual to become eligible to be a security guard, even an armed guard, but the following criteria must be met:
- The person must not have been reincarcerated since the time of release
- The person must have spent a minimum of 5 years as a resident of California since being convicted, and years may be added depending on the severity of the crime
- The person must show proof of rehabilitation since being released
- The person must not be on probation for any other felonies
After obtaining this certificate, a felony conviction will no longer be a major obstacle to getting a guard card.
Security Guards Must Be Licensed
To become a security guard in California, obtaining a California guard card is necessary. The first step is completing eight hours of training at either a government certified facility or an online training center before passing an examination. The next step is submitting an application to the California Bureau of Security and Investigative Services (BSIS) for processing. The BSIS will run a fingerprint-based criminal background check. Once the BSIS has cleared the application, the individual is then free to apply to a security company and be hired. However, an additional 16 hours of training must be completed within the first 30 days of being hired. Then, over the course of the next six months, he or she must complete 16 more hours of training, for a total of 40 hours.
Some Employers May Have Stricter Standards
Even though a criminal record won’t technically bar someone from getting a guard card and becoming a security guard, there’s one more hurdle to consider: security companies in Chatsworth, CA, and all across the state can adopt their own hiring standards and conduct background checks. As a general rule, the more responsibilities a particular security post has, the more in-depth the check. For example, an individual with a criminal record may have difficulty qualifying for an armed security guard position because the employer doesn’t accept applicants with even misdemeanor convictions for that position.
Whether you’re looking to become a security guard or you’re choosing a security company to protect you and your business, make sure to research your choices carefully. For advice on hiring security guards, reach out to the experts at Security Consulting Group. We are committed to providing our clients with the highest-quality security guard services. Chatsworth business owners can rely on us for help making choices about all their security needs. Give us a call today at 818-462-3080 to schedule an appointment.