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Security guards in Hawaii will be required to obtain a high school diploma or equivalent, be free of any psychiatric or psychological disorders that might impact their work and complete a nationwide FBI background check under new legislation known as ACT 208, according to KITV News.
Under current Hawaii regulations, security guards are only required to have an eight-grade education before being deployed to a job site, the article says.
The new law also requires all present and future security guards to complete an eight-hour course at one of seven community college across the state, which will be followed by a written exam and four hours of on-the-job training. Those who pass the course will continue their training with four hours of classroom time every year, or eight total over a two-year period.
Kauai Police Chief Darryl Perry, also a member of the Board of Private Detectives and Guards, believes that the new requirements will help law enforcement work more effectively with security guards, who are often used as witnesses in police investigations, KITV says.
In 2010, the Hawaii Department of Labor and Industrial Relations estimated the number of security guards in the state at 10,700. The actual number, KITV reports, may be much greater when including bouncers, loss prevention officers and private security guards who work at condos and home associations.
The new law is scheduled to take effect July 1, 2013. The training course curriculum is not yet finalized, but it's estimated that community colleges will charge $40 for the classroom instruction time, or about half a day's pay for a typical security guard. It is not yet decided whether the employees will pay for the training themselves, but the new mandates are expected to increase the cost of doing business for security firms that contract services to government and private entities throughout Hawaii.