Roy A. Rahn, a Board Certified Protection Professional (CPP), is the Executive Director of the California Association of Licensed Security Agencies, Guards and Associates (CALSAGA). With over three decades’ experience in both proprietary and contract security management, he is also familiar with law enforcement.

CALSAGA ‘is the only industry association in California dedicated to advocating on behalf of the security industry in the Legislature and at the Bureau of Security & Investigative Services (BSIS) in the State of California. The organization has been championing efforts over the past few years for ‘greater accountability in licensing, training and background screening standards’ and it intends to help maintain California’s stronghold as a national leader in the security industry.

In the lead up to the CALSAGA 2018 Annual conference, I caught up with Roy at ASIS International’s Global Security Exchange (GSX) 2018 conference earlier this year to get his insight on the security industry in California.

What is CALSAGA?

Roy describes CALSAGA as a non-profit trade organization that represents the interests of the uniform guarding industry in California. Among its members, there are 230 companies, including the three largest in the state.

The organization’s biggest responsibility is to keep a dialogue open whenever laws are passed that are not beneficial for its members and the greater physical security community in California. That is why CALSAGA works closely with state legislature and Bureau of Security and Investigative Services (BSIS).

Some of their wins include passing a bill that mandates 40 hours of training for security officers. They’ve also managed to pass another three bills which brought proprietary security officers under state regulation (which was not the case previously).

California’s complex laws

California’s laws are constantly changing, but I whittled down the question to ask Roy what were the highlights or the primary ones to focus on as a security practitioner in the state. When answering, Roy admitted that California is the most regulated state in the country, especially with its weapons bills.

In the State of California, everyone working in the security industry must be licensed. As part of a two-part guard training process in the state, the first level requires obtaining a ‘Guard Card’ – for which CALSAGA offers extensive training. This first level of training is part of a two-class, four-hour course. Some of the techniques and topics covered in this beginner course include ‘how to recognize that a situation is escalating and how to de-escalate it, hopefully without using force unless necessary.’

In the second-part of the training, security personnel are given public relations training since ‘most security guard positions will put a person in front of the public.’ Next, officers are taught how to communicate with the ‘necessary people’ in crisis situations. Some of the key concepts conveyed during this session are proper patrolling and reporting techniques. In line with these suggested industry best practices, TrackTik’s innovative security workforce management software eliminates paper reporting and empowers frontline personnel to report incidents in real-time.

Another thing that Roy wants CALSAGA members and California security constituents to be mindful of are wage and hour laws that are also critical to navigating the legal framework in the state. As a result of these guard-specific laws, CALSAGA works in close proximity with their members’ human resource teams to hear their concerns about wage and hour bills, then collaborates with lobbyists to make sure that the bills sanctioned are suitable for its members.

The security industry in numbers

There are 274,000 licensed officers in California meaning that the state counts for about 35% of the security industry in the US. Due to its large size, there are a lot of business opportunities in California, and commerce will always be buzzing in the state.

Recently, Roy identified and has been a commentator on the ‘underground unlicensed officer‘ problem in San Diego County. Due to California’s lucrative appeal, there have been instances where businesses have tried to work around the state’s strict laws and operate illegally. Cases have been documented wherein firms hired cheap, unlicensed security officers and ignored state legislation. The seriousness of this problem goes beyond breaking the state laws since untrained guards endanger the safety of citizens.

Roy insists that although it’s a difficult place to do business in, if security firms were to start the right way and take advantage of the educational programs that CALSAGA has to offer then its worth operating in the golden state.

Visit the TrackTik booth at CALSAGA

The CALSAGA Annual 2018 Conference is an annual two-and-a-half day conference where speakers are brought in from the regulatory bureau as well as other thought leaders from across the board. This conference is also an educational program and there’s usually an awards ceremony for the security officer of the year, life-saving awards and valor awards.

Hoping to help security firms in the state comply with their staunch reporting and admin standards in the State of California, TrackTik will be present at the event. If you’d like to come meet us and reconsider what a security workforce management software can do for your security operations then drop by Booth # 12 at the Rancho Mirage from October 17-18.