Deadly Denver Shooting Raises Questions About Training & Licensing for Private Security Officers

The deadly shooting by a security guard in Denver raises questions, that come up too often, about training and licensing for private security officers.

So you want to be a security professional? That is more than just the title of a chapter in Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin's new book, Rent-A-Cop Reboot.

“That is a question you must ask yourself before becoming a security officer,” Griffin says, “because you need to know if you have what it takes to follow the local, state, and federal guidelines all officers must follow. That includes rules about being licensed, and when and where you can operate as an armed or unarmed officer.”

That is a major issue following the deadly shooting on October 10th in Denver, Colorado. Security guard Matthew Dolloff was hired to work security for Denver TV station KUSA during a demonstration, but he now stands accused in the shooting death of Lee Keltner. City officials have announced that they are considering charges against Doloff and the company that hired him, Pinkerton Security.

Dolloff had a concealed carry license, which has reportedly been suspended, and television station executives have said they did not hire armed officers. Doloff’s attorney says he fired on the protester in self-defense.


Griffin says, “Many security companies hire officers to work various locations as unarmed officers. Was that the situation here? If so, did Dolloff take his weapon to an unarmed site? That is completely against that state’s law.

“Was he afraid? Fear, as I have also said in Rent-A-Cop Reboot, can make a bad situation worse. In this case, fear prompted this guard to utilize his firearm on a protester. Where was his backup? Did the man who maced the guard have a weapon?

“No guard should ever work a large crowd alone. It can become a lose-lose situation. When I have managed security for events with crowds, I have had the local police department and state police nearby, just in case. What was the security plan for this event? Was it professionally carried out?

“Unfortunately, many security companies have incidents like this happen with their officers,” says Griffin. “They typically don’t shoot and kill protesters. In this case, I’m sure they are investigating this guard’s training and certification. He may not have been qualified to watch a building, and certainly not a protest with tensions so high. He may have been lucky over the past year he has reportedly worked, but his luck, tragically, ran out.

Rent-A-Cop Reboot by Sam Griffin and Theresa Caldwell

“I advise security companies that need staff to cover a large event to subcontract the work out to another company with certified guards who are experienced with crowd control,” Griffin adds.

For security guards, make sure you keep up with your training and certifications.

Know the guidelines and procedures of the areas where you work, and read material like my book that helps you consider practices for your success that may not have been covered in your traditional security training."



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