WASHINGTON, Dec. 12, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Association of Security Companies (NASCO), the nation's largest contract security association whose member companies employ over 450,000 security officers across the U.S, strongly commends Senator Patrick Toomey of Pennsylvania for his introduction of S.3012, the "Private Security Officer Screener Improvement Act of 2019" (PSOSIA).
The legislation addresses a critical gap in criminal background screening of security officers. The bill enables employers of security officers to obtain previously authorized FBI background checks on their officers and applicants from a DOJ designated entity when such FBI checks are not available through the state of employment.
Commented NASCO Chairman Jim McNulty, "When you see private security officers, they are almost always in uniform and sometimes they are armed. They are considered persons of trust by the public and it is clearly in the public's best interest that private security officers are properly screened. It is well documented that checks of FBI criminal records uncover serious criminal convictions that do not show up in checks of state criminal records. We are grateful for Senator Toomey's leadership in addressing this important public safety issue, and we look forward to working with Senator Toomey and others in Congress to pass this important piece of legislation."
In 2004, NASCO and its members worked with Congress to enact the Private Security Officer Employment Authorization Act (PSOEAA). The PSOEAA authorized employers of security officers to request FBI background checks on their officers and applicants. However, the PSOEAA required that the checks be conducted by state agencies.
Explained NASCO Executive Director Steve Amitay, "Even before the PSOEAA, states were authorized to conduct FBI background checks on security officers, and many states do conduct FBI checks as part of the security officer licensing application process. However, some states do not license security officers, or only conduct state criminal checks, or only conduct FBI checks on certain types of officers (e.g. armed or contract only), and only a handful of states conduct FBI checks on officers once they are licensed. A few additional states started offering checks after the PSOEAA, but the bottom line is that for hundreds of thousands of security officers throughout the country, there are still no initial or follow up FBI checks available. "
Continued Amitay, "When Congress passed the PSOEAA, the clear intent was for FBI checks to be available for all security officers at all stages of employment, and the PSOSIA fulfills that intent by making the checks available through a DOJ designated entity. This solution is similar to what Congress recently provided for organizations with employees and volunteers who work with children and other vulnerable populations who were facing similar obstacles in obtaining previously authorized FBI checks."
For more information on NASCO and the private security industry go to www.nasco.org
Contact: Steve Amitay, Executive Director, 202-347-4805, [email protected]