2006 Regular Session
To: Business and Financial Institutions
By: Senator(s) Tollison
AN ACT TO CREATE THE PRIVATE SECURITY AND LICENSING LAW; TO DEFINE CERTAIN TERMS; TO CREATE THE MISSISSIPPI BOARD OF PRIVATE SECURITY EXAMINERS AND PRESCRIBE ITS DUTIES AND POWERS; TO PROVIDE FOR THE POSITION OF EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE BOARD; TO PRESCRIBE LICENSING QUALIFICATIONS; TO PROVIDE FOR INVESTIGATIONS OF APPLICANTS; TO PROVIDE FOR EXAMINATION OF APPLICANTS; TO PROVIDE FOR LICENSING APPROVAL AND DENIAL PROCEDURES; TO PROVIDE FOR A LICENSE FORM; TO REQUIRE THE POSTING OF LICENSES; TO REQUIRE NOTIFICATION OF CHANGES; TO PROVIDE FOR OFFICER REGISTRANT CARDS AND QUALIFICATIONS AND PROCEDURES THEREFOR; TO REQUIRE TRAINING OF OFFICERS; TO REQUIRE WEAPONS PERMITS; TO PRESCRIBE A SCHEDULE OF FEES; TO PROVIDE FOR THE RENEWAL OF LICENSES; TO PROVIDE FOR RECIPROCITY; TO PROVIDE CAUSES FOR NONISSUANCE, SUSPENSION, REVOCATION OR RESTRICTIONS ON LICENSES; TO REGULATE THE USE OF INSIGNIAS, MARKINGS AND CLOTHING; TO PRESCRIBE UNLAWFUL ACTS; TO PROVIDE PENALTIES FOR VIOLATIONS OF THIS ACT; TO PROVIDE FOR CEASE AND DESIST ORDERS AND INJUNCTIVE RELIEF; TO RECREATE THE MISSISSIPPI STATE BOARD OF PRIVATE SECURITY EXAMINERS FUND AND PROVIDE FOR ITS ADMINISTRATION; TO PROVIDE EXEMPTIONS; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. (1) The Legislature of Mississippi declares that it is necessary to require the licensure of private security agents and businesses to be in the best interest of the citizens of this state.
(2) The purpose of this act is to require qualifying criteria in a presently unregulated professional field in which unqualified individuals may injure the public. The requirements of this act will contribute to the safety, health and welfare of the people of Mississippi.
SECTION 2. This act shall be known and may be cited as the "Private Security Regulatory and Licensing Law."
SECTION 3. (1) As used in this act, the following terms shall have the following meanings ascribed to them:
(a) "Applicant" means a person who seeks to be examined for licensure or certification by the board.
(b) "Board" means the Mississippi State Board of Private Security Examiners, an office in the Department of Public Safety.
(c) "Certified trainer" means any person approved and certified by the board as qualified to administer and certify the successful completion of the required minimum training requirements for security officers.
(d) "Contract security company" means any person engaging in the business of providing, or which undertakes to provide, a security officer on a contractual basis for another person.
(e) "Department" means the Mississippi Department of Public Safety.
(f) "Executive director" means the chief administrative officer of the board.
(g) "Licensee" means any person to whom a license is granted in accordance with the provisions of this act.
(h) "Person" means an individual, firm, association, company, partnership, corporation, nonprofit organization or other legal entity.
(i) "Principal corporate officer" means the president, vice president, treasurer, director or comptroller or any other person who performs functions for the corporation corresponding to those performed by the foregoing officers.
(j) "Registrant" means an individual who holds a valid registration card issued by the board.
(k) "Registration card" means the identification card issued by the board to a registrant as evidence that the registrant has met the required minimum qualifications to perform the duties of a security officer.
(l) "Security officer" means an individual who is principally employed by a contract security company whether armed or unarmed, who is principally employed to protect a person or persons or property or both, and whose duties include but are not limited to the following:
(i) Prevention of unlawful intrusion or entry.
(ii) Prevention of larceny.
(iii) Prevention of vandalism.
(iv) Protection of property or person.
(v) Prevention of abuse.
(vi) Prevention of arson.
(vii) Prevention of trespass on private property.
(viii) Control, regulation, or direction of the flow or movements of the public, except on public streets, whether by vehicle, on foot or otherwise.
(ix) Street patrol service or merchant patrol service, which is any contract security company that utilizes foot patrols, motor vehicles, or any other means of transportation in public areas or on public thoroughfares in the performance of its security functions.
(2) An armed security officer is an individual whose principal duty is that of an armed security officer, and who at any time wears, carries, possesses, or has access to a firearm in the performance of his duties. Unarmed persons whose duties are limited to custodial duties or the reporting of administrative regulations only and who do not wear an officer uniform are specifically excluded from this definition.
(3) The board by rule may define terms in the regulation and licensing of private security officers only pursuant to and consistent with the provisions of this act.
SECTION 4. (1) The Mississippi State Board of Private Security Examiners is hereby created as an office of the state government in the Department of Public Safety.
(2) The board shall consist of nine (9) members. Seven (7) members shall be appointed by the Governor, one (1) by the Lieutenant Governor and one (1) by the Speaker of the House of Representatives. One (1) member shall be appointed by the Governor from and shall reside in each of the four (4) congressional districts established by law. Five (5) members shall be appointed from the state at large. Each member shall be a citizen of the United States of America, a resident of Mississippi, at least thirty (30) years of age, and shall have been actively engaged in the private security business for at least five (5) years. The initial members shall not be required to be licensed but shall obtain a license within one hundred eighty (180) days after appointment. Each subsequent member shall be a licensed private security officer or corporate officer.
(3) The board shall be domiciled in Jackson, but shall be authorized to meet elsewhere in the state.
(4) Each appointed member shall serve at the pleasure of the Governor for a term concurrent with the term of Office of the Governor appointing him, except that each member shall serve until his successor has been appointed and begins serving.
(5) Each appointment by the Governor shall be submitted to the Senate for confirmation. No appointee shall serve more than two (2) consecutive terms.
(6) In the event of death, resignation or disability of a member of the board, the Governor shall fill the vacancy by appointing a qualified person for the remainder of the unexpired term.
(7) Each member of the board shall receive a certificate of appointment from the Governor, and before beginning his term of office, shall file with the Secretary of State his written oath or affirmation for faithful discharge of his official duty.
(8) (a) No member of the board shall receive a per diem but shall be reimbursed for actual expenses when actually attending a meeting of the board or any of its committees, and for time spent on behalf of the board on official business not to exceed ten (10) days in any month.
(b) Additionally, each member shall be reimbursed for all necessary travel and incidental, and clerical expenses incurred in carrying out the provisions of this act and upon approval of the board as evidenced by voucher.
SECTION 5. (1) The board shall:
(a) Examine all applicants desiring to be licensed as a private security business or security officer in the State of Mississippi.
(b) Administer a written examination for prospective licensees at least twice each year in the City of Jackson.
(c) Adopt rules and regulations to govern the practice of private security firms and businesses in the State of Mississippi.
(d) Issue, suspend, modify, or revoke licenses or certificates to provide private security services in the State of Mississippi.
(e) Report to the Attorney General of the State of Mississippi all persons violating the provisions of this act.
(f) Elect a chairman and a vice chairman, each to serve two-year terms.
(g) Report annually, no later than March 1, to the Governor, the secretary of the department and the Legislature on its activities.
(h) Adopt its official seal.
(2) The board may:
(a) Adopt and enforce rules and regulations, bylaws and rules of professional conduct as the board may deem necessary and proper to regulate private security businesses in the State of Mississippi, to provide for the efficient operation of the board, and otherwise to discharge its duties and powers under this act.
(b) Prescribe and adopt regulations, standards, procedures and policies governing the manner and conditions under which credit shall be given by the board for participation in a program of continuing professional education such as the board may consider necessary and appropriate to maintain the highest standards of the private security industry in the State of Mississippi.
(c) Authorize any member of the board to make any affidavit necessary for the issuance of any injunction or other legal process authorized under this act or under the rules and regulations of the board.
(d) Issue subpoenas to require attendance and testimony and the production of documents, for the purpose of enforcing the laws relative to the private security industry and securing evidence of violations thereof.
(e) Maintain a current list of licensed private security officers.
(f) Appoint a qualified executive director.
(g) Employ clerical assistance necessary to carry out the administrative work of the board.
(h) Employ legal counsel to carry out the provisions of this act, provided that the fees of such counsel and the costs of all proceedings except criminal prosecutions shall be paid by the board from its own funds.
(i) Incur all necessary and proper expenses.
(3) The chairman and executive director of the board, or in their absence any other member of the board, may administer oaths in the taking of testimony upon any matter appertaining to the duties and powers of the board.
(4) The board shall meet quarterly at regular meetings each year. A special meeting may be held at such time and place as specified by the executive director on call of the chairman or any four (4) members. The executive director shall give written notice of all meetings to the members of the board and to the interested public.
(5) Five (5) members of the board shall constitute a quorum for all purposes, including the granting or issuance of licenses and the rulemaking and adjudicative functions of the board.
SECTION 6. The position of executive director of the board is hereby created. The executive director shall be appointed by the board and shall serve as its chief administrator. He shall not be a member of the board, but shall be a full-time employee of the board, to be paid compensation in an amount to be determined by the board. The office, its equipment and furnishings shall be initially furnished by the state. The executive director shall perform such duties as may be prescribed by the board, and shall employ such persons as he deems necessary and fix their compensation. He shall have no financial or business interests, contingent dealings or otherwise, in the security services investigative business, watch, security officer or patrol agency while so employed or for a period of five (5) years thereafter.
SECTION 7. (1) The board shall base the determination of the satisfactory minimum qualifications for licensing on whether or not the applicant meets the following criteria:
(a) Is of good moral character.
(b) Is of legal age.
(c) Is a citizen of the United States.
(d) Has not been convicted in any jurisdiction of any felony or any crime involving moral turpitude, or illegal use or possession of a dangerous weapon for any of which a full pardon or similar relief has not been granted.
(e) Has not been declared by any court of competent jurisdiction incompetent by reason of mental defect or disease which has not been restored.
(f) Does not suffer from habitual drunkenness or from narcotics addiction or dependence.
(g) A corporation seeking a license shall be incorporated under the laws of this state, or shall be duly qualified to do business within this state with a valid certificate of authority issued by the Secretary of State, and shall have an agent for service of process designated as required by law.
(2) If, in the opinion of the board, the applicant provides inadequate information to allow the board to ascertain whether the applicant satisfies the qualifications for licensing, the applicant shall be required to provide additional information for purposes of the application, or may be required to present himself for an interview for this purpose.
(3) An applicant for licensing shall fill out and file with the board an application form provided by the board. The form shall require relevant information about the applicant's character, experience and background.
(4) (a) If the applicant is an individual, the application shall be subscribed and sworn to by such person.
(b) If the applicant is a partnership, the application shall be subscribed and sworn to by each partner.
(c) If the applicant is a corporation, it shall be subscribed and sworn to by at least two (2) principal corporate officers.
(d) Any individual signing a license application shall submit with the license application classifiable impressions of his fingerprints on a form approved by the board. The board shall use the impressions to complete a fingerprint-based criminal history records investigation from the Mississippi Department of Public Safety and the Federal Bureau of Investigation databases.
(5) The licensee shall be required to have in effect general liability insurance of at least One Million Dollars ($1,000,000.00) with the State of Mississippi named as an additional insured and shall provide to the board a certificate of insurance issued by the carrier.
(6) Every person covered by this act within the state on the effective date of this act shall have one hundred eighty (180) days to apply to the board for a license to operate. Any such person filing a timely application may continue to engage in business pending a final determination of such application.
SECTION 8. (1) (a) After receipt of an application for a license, the board shall conduct an investigation to determine whether the facts set forth in the application are true.
(b) Within sixty (60) days after receipt of an application, the board shall either issue a license to the applicant or notify the applicant of a denial of the license application.
(c) In the event that the board requires additional information from the applicant to complete its investigation, or otherwise to satisfy the requirements of this act, or if the applicant has not submitted all of the required information, the sixty-day period for action by the board shall commence when the board has received all such information.
(d) The board shall deny the application for a license if it finds that the applicant, or the qualifying agent, or any of the applicant's owners, partners or principal corporate officers have committed any of the following:
(i) Violated any of the provisions of this act or the rules and regulations promulgated by the board.
(ii) Practiced fraud, deceit or misrepresentation.
(iii) Knowingly made a material misstatement in the application for a license.
(iv) Failed to meet the qualification of this act.
(v) Been convicted of a felony.
(2) The board may refuse to issue a license for good cause shown.
SECTION 9. The board shall determine the scope, form and content of the examinations for licensure. The examination, which shall be written, shall test the applicant's knowledge of the private security business and his ability to apply that knowledge and to assume responsible charge in the practice of private security.
SECTION 10. (1) The procedure of the board in approving or denying an application shall be as follows:
(a) If the application is approved, the board shall notify the applicant in writing that a license will be issued.
(b) If the application is denied, the board shall notify the applicant in writing and shall set forth the grounds for denial.
(c) (i) If the grounds for denial are subject to correction by the applicant, the notice of denial shall so state and the applicant shall be given ten (10) days after receipt of such notice or, upon application, a reasonable additional period of time within which to make the required correction.
(ii) If the application is denied, the applicant, within thirty (30) days after receipt of notice of denial from the board, may request a hearing on the denial. Within ten (10) days after the filing of such request for hearing by the applicant, the board shall schedule a hearing to be held after due notice to the applicant.
(2) The board shall issue a license as a private security officer to each applicant who meets the requirements of this act, passes satisfactorily the examination administered by the board, and pays the required fee.
(3) An applicant or qualifying agent successfully passing the board's examination may substitute that for the experience requirement.
(4) An applicant who fails an examination may be examined again upon filing a new application and the payment of the reexamination fee fixed by this act.
(5) A qualified agency or company at the time of the effective date of this act may be licensed without an examination, upon approval of the board, if he or it applies to the board prior to December 31, 2006. In determining the qualifications of an applicant for licensing under this subsection, the affirmative vote of five (5) members of the board is required.
SECTION 11. (1) The license, when issued, shall be in a form prescribed by the board and shall include the following:
(a) Name of the licensee.
(b) Business name under which the licensee is to operate.
(c) Addresses of the locations where the licensee is authorized to operate.
(d) Number and date of the license, and its date of expiration.
(2) (a) No license shall be assigned or transferred, either by operation of law or otherwise.
(b) If a sale, assignment, transfer, merger or consolidation of a business licensed under this act is consummated, the purchaser, assignee, transferee, or surviving or new corporation, who is not already a licensee, shall immediately apply for a license on a form prescribed by the board which shall include the general information required by this act.
(c) The purchaser, assignee, transferee, or surviving or new corporation shall be subject to the same general requirements and procedures set forth in this act to the extent such sections are applicable, and may continue the operation of that licensed business until notified by the board of its final decision on the new application for a license.
(d) For good cause shown, the board may extend the period of time for filing the application required.
SECTION 12. (1) (a) Within seventy-two (72) hours after receipt of the license certificate, the licensee shall cause the license certificate to be posted and to be displayed at all times in a conspicuous place in the principal office of the licensee within the state.
(b) Copies of the license certificate shall be displayed at all times in any other office within the state where the licensee transacts business.
(c) Such license certificates, or copies thereof, shall be subject to inspection at all reasonable times by the board.
(2) It shall be unlawful for any person holding such a license certificate knowingly and willfully to post such license certificates, or permit such license certificate to be posted, upon premises other than those described in the license certificate, or knowingly and willfully to alter such license certificate.
(3) (a) Each license certificate shall be surrendered to the board within seventy-two (72) hours after it has been revoked or after the licensee ceases to do business.
(b) If, however, the board or a court of competent jurisdiction has pending before it any matter relating to the renewal, revocation or transfer of a license, the licensee shall not be required to surrender the license until the matter has been adjudicated and all appeals have been exhausted.
(c) When the licensee receives final notice that its license has been revoked, a copy of such notice shall be displayed and posted in close proximity to the license certificate until the licensee terminates operations.
SECTION 13. The licensee shall notify the board within thirty (30) days of any change in its officers, directors or material change in the information previously furnished or required to be furnished to the board, or any occurrence which could reasonably be expected to affect the licensee's right to a license under this act.
SECTION 14. (1) (a) Each person who performs the functions and duties of a security officer within this state on the effective date of this act shall have one hundred eighty (180) days to apply to the board for a registration card.
(b) A temporary registration card may be issued by a certified trainer pending issuance of a permanent registration card by the board. A temporary registration card shall be valid for no more than sixty (60) days.
(c) Individuals required to obtain a registration card under this act shall file for a registration card and, upon completion thereof, the licensee or registrant shall immediately forward the application to the board.
(d) (i) Every applicant for a registration card shall make and deliver to the licensee or the board a sworn application in writing upon a form prescribed by the board.
(ii) The board shall prescribe by rule the form for such application and procedures for their submission, consideration and disposition, including the fee to accompany the application.
(iii) To be eligible to apply for a registration card an individual shall have the same qualifications required of an applicant provided in Section 6 of this act, but may be a resident alien.
(2) Each security officer shall carry his registration card whenever such individual is performing the duties of a security officer, and it shall be exhibited upon request by a sworn law enforcement officer or official representative of the board. The registration card shall entitle the registrant to perform the duties of a security officer as long as the registrant maintains his eligibility under the provisions of this act.
(3) The registration card shall bear, an identifying number, photograph and any other identifying data required by the board.
(4) After receipt of an application for a registration card, the board shall conduct an investigation to determine whether the facts set forth in the application are true. Actions by the board to approve or deny an application for a registration card shall be the same as that action taken to deny or approve an application for license as provided in Section 10 of this act.
(5) (a) In the event that the board denies, suspends or revokes a registration card, the cardholder, upon receipt of the notice of denial, suspension or revocation, shall immediately cease to perform the duties of a security officer, unless specifically authorized to continue work by order of the board, or by a court of competent jurisdiction within the state.
(b) Both the cardholder and the employer shall be notified by the board of its final action to deny, suspend or revoke a registration card.
(6) (a) Registration cards issued by the board shall be valid for a period of two (2) years. The registrant shall be required to advise the board of any changes in his status or permanent address during the valid period. The cardholder shall file a registration card renewal form with the board not less than thirty (30) days prior to the expiration of the card, together with the fee for renewal. The renewal application shall include a statement by the registrant that the registrant continues to meet the qualifications for a security officer as set forth by the board. The renewal application shall be accompanied by a statement from a certified trainer that the registrant has satisfactorily completed the required training as prescribed by the board.
(b) The board may refuse to renew a registration card, and shall promptly notify the cardholder of its intent to refuse to renew. The cardholder, within fifteen (15) days after receipt of such notice, may request a hearing on such refusal, in the same manner and in accordance with the same procedure as that provided in Section 10 of this act.
(c) A licensee or employer shall notify the board within ten (10) days after the death or termination of employment of any of its employees who are registrants. Licensees or employers subject to this act shall notify the board within ten (10) days upon receipt of information relating to a registrant's loss of eligibility to hold such a card.
(7) (a) Any individual who changes his permanent residence to this state from any other state which the board determines has selection, training and all other similar requirements at least equal to those required under this act, and who holds a valid registration, commission, identification or similar card issued by said other state through a licensee which is licensed by this state, and who wishes to continue to be employed by said licensee, may apply for a registration card on a form prescribed by the board upon the payment of a transfer fee. Upon certification by said licensee that such individual has completed the training prescribed by said state, the board shall issue the individual a registration card.
(b) In the event that a person who holds a registration card terminates employment with one employer and is reemployed within five (5) calendar days as a security officer with another employer, the new employer, within seventy-two (72) hours of such reemployment shall submit to the board a notice of the change on a form prescribed by the board, together with a transfer fee. The board shall then issue a new registration card reflecting the name of the new employer.
(c) Upon receipt of that new card, the cardholder shall immediately return the old card to the board. The holder may continue to work as a security officer for the new employer while the board is processing the change application. The holder of a registration card who terminates employment, and who is not reemployed as a security officer within five (5) calendar days, shall surrender within twenty-four (24) hours of the fifth calendar day the registration card to the former employer. The employer shall return the cancelled registration card to the board within five (5) business days.
(8) A registration card shall be subject to expiration and renewal during the period in which the holder of the card is subject to an order of suspension.
SECTION 15. (1) (a) A security officer presently employed at the time of the effective date of this act shall complete within one (1) year a minimum of forty-eight (48) hours training under a certified trainer as prescribed by the board.
(b) Armed security officers presently employed at the time of the effective date of this act shall within one (1) year complete eight (8) hours firearms training and range qualifications in addition to the forty-eight (48) hours training required.
(c) The board shall approve all training programs.
(d) The board may accept from a certified trainer a certification that the above training has been completed within the previous three (3) years, in lieu of the requirement to repeat such training.
(2) (a) Any security officer employed after the effective date of this act shall complete, within one hundred (100) days of his first work assignment, forty-eight (48) hours minimum training under a certified trainer and successfully pass an examination on the prescribed material which shall include the following topics:
(i) Orientation: two (2) hours.
(ii) Legal powers and limitations of a security officer: two (2) hours.
(iii) Emergency procedures: two (2) hours.
(iv) General duties: two (2) hours.
(b) Armed security officers shall complete eight (8) hours firearms training and range qualifications prior to armed work assignment. The nature and extent of firearms of firearms training shall be adequately described, approved and monitored by the board to include at a minimum the following:
(i) Legal limitations on use of weapons.
(ii) Handling of a weapon.
(iii) Safety and maintenance.
(c) Marksmanship requirement shall be a minimum of sixty percent (60%) on any silhouette target course approved by the board.
(d) Security officers shall have six (6) months to complete an additional eight (8) hours training under a certified trainer and as prescribed by the board.
(3) Failure to complete the required training within the prescribed time period shall preclude future consideration for a license for a period of one (1) year.
(4) (a) All armed security officers must complete an annual retraining course of at least four (4) hours, which includes two (2) hours of refresher courses on subjects previously specified, and at least two (2) hours aggregate retraining in firearms instructions, to include minimum marksmanship qualification of sixty percent (60%) on an approved silhouette target course approved by the board.
(b) Upon a registrant's completion of any training required, the licensee or employer, as the case may be, shall furnish to the board a written notice of such completion signed by a certified trainer.
(5) All training required by this act shall be administered by a certified trainer who:
(a) Is approved by the board;
(b) Meets the qualifications of an applicant as required by Section 7 of this act; and
(c) Has a minimum of three (3) years supervisory experience with a contract security company, proprietary security organization, or with any federal, state, parochial or municipal law enforcement agent.
SECTION 16. An armed security officer whose duties require the transporting of a firearm to and from the work assignment and his residence, or between assignments, shall be required to have in his possession a firearm permit issued by the State of Mississippi.
SECTION 17. (1) The board is authorized to charge each applicant a fee for a license.
(2) All fees shall be paid by check or money order made payable to the board.
(3) Any fees payable by a registrant under this act, or paid by a licensee on the registrant's behalf, or any deposits which may be required by a licensee from a registrant under this act, may be deducted from any wages payable to the registrant by the licensee; provided that such deduction does not reduce the hourly wage below the applicable minimum wage law.
SECTION 18. (1) A license shall expire annually on the date of issuance unless renewed by payment of the required renewal fee at least thirty (30) days prior to its expiration. The board shall notify the licensee of the renewal at the last known address at least sixty (60) days in advance of the expiration. If a license is not renewed within six (6) months after its expiration date, it shall be deemed to have lapsed and to be invalid. The delinquent private security business shall apply again for initial licensure.
(2) The board shall issue the same number for the renewed license as that number issued for the original license or shall deny renewal within thirty (30) days. The board shall promptly notify the licensee if it refuses to renew the license.
(3) The licensee, within fifteen (15) days after receipt of such notice of intent to refuse to renew a license, may request a hearing on such refusal. A licensee shall be permitted to continue to be engaged in the contract security business while his renewal application is pending.
SECTION 19. A person holding a license to engage in the private security business issued to him by a proper authority of any state, territory or possession of the United States of America, or the District of Columbia, which has licensing requirements comparable to Mississippi, and who, in the opinion of the board, otherwise meets the requirements of this act, upon application, may be licensed without further examination.
SECTION 20. (1) The board may refuse to issue or may suspend, revoke or impose probationary or other restrictions on any license, certification or registration issued under this act for good cause shown which shall include the following:
(a) Conviction of a felony or entry of a plea of guilty or nolo contendere to a felony charge under the laws of the United States of America or of any state within seven (7) years of the date of application for licensure, certification or registration.
(b) Deceit or perjury in obtaining any certificate or license issued under this act.
(c) Providing false testimony before the board.
(d) Efforts to deceive or defraud the public.
(e) Professional incompetency or gross negligence.
(f) Rendering, submitting, subscribing or verifying false, deceptive, misleading or unfounded opinions or reports.
(g) The refusal of the licensing authority of another state to issue or renew a license, permit or certificate to practice in that state, or the revocation or suspension of or other restriction imposed on a license, permit or certificate issued by such licensing authority.
(h) Aiding or abetting a person to evade the provisions of this act or knowingly combining or conspiring with an unlicensed person, or acting as an agent, partner, associate or otherwise, of an unlicensed person with intent to evade provisions of this act.
(i) Violation of any provision of this act or any rules or regulations of the board or rules of professional conduct promulgated by the board.
(2) The board, as a probationary condition or as a condition of the reinstatement of any license suspended or revoked hereunder, may require the holder to pay all costs of the board proceedings, including investigators', stenographers' and attorneys' fees.
(3) Four (4) concurring votes of the board shall be required for the revocation of any license. Four (4) concurring votes shall be required for suspension of any license or the imposition of costs or fines in excess of Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00).
(4) Any certificate or license suspended, revoked or otherwise restricted by the board may be reinstated by majority vote of a quorum.
SECTION 21. (1) (a) With the exception of sworn peace officers in police uniform, no individual, while performing the duties of a security officer, shall wear or display any badge, insignia, device, shield, patch or pattern which shall indicate or tend to indicate that he is a sworn peace officer, or which contains or includes the word "police," or the equivalent thereof, or is similar in wording to any law enforcement agency in this state.
(b) A copy of such badges and insignias of the licensee shall be submitted for approval to the board at the time of filing for initial and renewable license application.
(2) No person, while performing any private security services, shall have or utilize any vehicle or equipment displaying the words "police," "law enforcement officer," or the equivalent thereof, or any sign, shield, marking, accessory or insignia that may indicate that such vehicle is a vehicle of a public law enforcement agency.
(3) (a) The employer shall furnish security officer uniforms.
(b) All military or police-style uniforms, except for rainwear or other foul weather clothing, shall have affixed over the left breast pocket, on the outermost garment, and on all caps worn by such persons, badges or insignias distinct in design from those utilized by law enforcement agencies within the state, and approved by the board.
(c) Suppliers of uniforms shall be prohibited from the sale or rental of uniforms, badges and insignia of a licensee or law enforcement agency without appropriate certification from such licensees or agencies that the intended purchaser is properly authorized to use those items.
(4) An employer may require a reasonable deposit to secure the return of the uniform, weapon or any equipment provided by the employer, provided that such deduction does not reduce the hourly wage below the applicable minimum wage law.
SECTION 22. (1) It shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly commit any of the following acts:
(a) Provide contract security services without possessing a valid license;
(b) Employ any individual to perform the duties of a security officer who is not the holder of a valid registration or temporary registration card;
(c) Publish any advertisement, letterhead, circular, statement or phrase of any sort which suggests that the licensee is an official police agency or any other agency, instrumentality, or division of this state or any of its political subdivisions, or of the federal government;
(d) Issue any badge or shield not in conformance with Section 21 of this act;
(e) Designate an individual as other than a security officer to circumvent the requirements of this act;
(f) Knowingly make any false statement or material omission in any application filed with the board;
(g) Falsely represent that a person is the holder of a valid license or registration; or
(h) Violate any provision of this act or any rule or regulation of the board.
(2) It shall be unlawful for any security officer to knowingly commit any of the following:
(a) Provide security officer services or perform security officer services without a valid registration card.
(b) Fail to return immediately on demand or within twenty-four (24) hours of termination of employment a firearm issued by an employer.
(c) Carry a firearm in the performance of his duties without a valid registration card.
(d) Fail to return immediately on demand or within seven (7) days of termination of employment any uniform, badge or other item of equipment issued to the security officer by an employer.
(e) Make any statement which would reasonably cause another person to believe that the security officer functions as a sworn peace officer or other official of this state, or of any of its political subdivisions, or any agency of the federal government.
(f) Fail to comply with the regulations issued by the board, or with any other requirements under the provisions of this act.
(g) Divulge to anyone, other than his employer, or to such persons as his employer may direct, or as may be required by law, any information acquired during such employment that may compromise the security of any premises or assignment to which he shall have been assigned by such employer.
(h) Fail to return to the employer or the board a registration card as required by the provisions of this act.
(i) Possess a license or registration card issued to another person.
(j) Use any uniform, badge or shield not in conformance with this act.
SECTION 23. (1) No person shall engage in the business of providing private security officer services except in accordance with this act and the rules and regulations adopted by the board hereunder.
(2) Whoever willfully violates any provisions of this act shall be fined not less than One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) nor more than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00), or imprisoned for not less than ten (10) days nor more than five (5) months, or both.
SECTION 24. (1) In addition to or in lieu of the criminal penalties and administrative sanctions provided in this act, the board is empowered to issue an order to any person or firm engaged in any activity, conduct or practice constituting a violation of any provision of this act, directing such person or firm to forthwith cease and desist from such activity, conduct or practice. Such order shall be issued in the name of the State of Mississippi, under the official seal of the board.
(2) If the person or firm to whose the board directs a cease and desist order does not cease and desist the prohibited activity, conduct or practice within three (3) working days from service of such cease and desist order by certified mail, the board may seek, in any court of competent jurisdiction and proper venue, a writ of injunction enjoining such person or firm from engaging in any activity, conduct or practice prohibited by this act.
(3) (a) Upon a proper showing by the board that such person or firm has engaged in any activity, conduct or practice prohibited by this act, the court shall issue a temporary restraining order restraining the person or firm from engaging in unlawful activity, conduct or practices pending the hearing on a preliminary injunction, and in due course a permanent injunction shall be issued after a hearing, commanding the cessation of the unlawful activity, conduct or practices complained of, all without the necessity of the board having to give bond as usually required in such cases.
(b) A temporary restraining order, preliminary injunction or permanent injunction issued hereunder shall not be subject to being released upon bond.
SECTION 25. (1) This act shall not prohibit one or more private security businesses from practicing through a partnership, corporation or association.
(2) In any partnership, corporation or association whose primary activity consists of private security services, at least one (1) partner or officer shall be licensed.
SECTION 26. All fees collected under the provisions of this act shall be paid into the State Treasury on or before the twenty-fifth day of the month following their collection in a special fund named the Mississippi State Board of Private Security Examiners Fund. In addition, all other money made available for use as provided in this act shall be credited to this fund. Any interest accrued to the fund shall remain in the fund. At the end of a fiscal year no money shall lapse into the General Fund but shall remain in the special fund created by this section.
SECTION 27. The adoption of any rule or regulation, guideline, substantive procedure or code of conduct shall be subject to the provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act.
SECTION 28. (1) From and after the effective date of this act, no governmental subdivision of this state shall enact any legislation, code, or ordinance or promulgate any rules or regulations relating to the licensing, training or regulations of contract security companies other than the imposition of a bona fide business tax.
(2) Upon said effective date, any provisions of any legislation, code, or ordinance, or rules promulgated by any local governmental subdivision of this state which relates to licensing, training or regulation of contract security companies shall be superseded by this act.
SECTION 29. (1) This act shall not apply to a person or corporation which employs persons who do private security work in connection with the affairs of such employer only and who have an employer-employee relationship with such employer. Neither such persons or corporations nor their employees shall be required to register or be licensed under this act.
(2) This act shall not apply to a peace officer employed by a state, county or local law enforcement agency who contracts directly with an employer to work during his off-duty hours and whose off-duty employment is conducted on an independent contractor basis with an employer other than a peace officer engaged in the private detective or private security business or a private detective or private security agency.
SECTION 30. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2006.