Colorado security guard regulation attempts failed in 2006 and 2012 in the state

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DENVER (KDVR) — Colorado’s Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA), has twice considered proposals for security guard regulation in Colorado, but neither succeeded in making it to the legislature.

“The public is not suffering harm at the hands of unregulated private security companies or private security guards. Therefore, regulation is not justified,” a 2006 DORA review of a National Association of Security Companies regulatory proposal said.

The report, which recommended against any regulation, said the state “should not interfere where the law of contract and the free market are working in a satisfactory manner.”

The FOX31 Problem Solvers obtained the report, compiled by DORA’s Office of Policy, Research, and Regulatory Reform, after last weekend’s deadly shooting in Denver, in which an unlicensed security guard, hired by 9NEWS is accused of shooting and killing a demonstrator.

Under the law, any proposal for regulation of an occupation or profession must first be considered by DORA during a “sunrise review” before it can be suggested as legislation.

“The intent of the law is to impose regulation on occupations and professions only when it is necessary to protect the public health, safety or welfare,” the document said, explaining DORA must consider whether an unregulated practice or profession is harmful to the public, whether the public might benefit from regulation, and whether the public “can adequately be protected by other means in a more cost-effective manner.”

The 2006 sunrise review included interviews with private security guards and company representatives, according to the report. “While many arguments in favor of regulation were put forward, none were convincing.”

The review team said people who contract with private security companies may make their own regulations and outline work requirements in a private contract. “If the private security company is unable or unwilling to comply, it can either reject the contract up front, or be sued later for breach.  There is a private remedy and the forces of the market can provide adequate redress,” the report said.

In 2012, the security company, Contemporary Services Corporation, pushed for similar regulation of private security officers in Colorado, however, DORA declined to conduct an additional sunrise review since 41 other states required some form of regulation for security officers.

“Since the vast majority of states regulate private security officers, DORA declines to conduct a sunrise review,” said Barbara Kelley, then-executive director of DORA, wrote in a letter to members of the Colorado General Assembly. Kelley cited the law that allows DORA to refuse a review “if the majority of states regulate the same profession or occupational group.”

Kelley said Contemporary Services Corporation, as a result, was free to seek legislation as a result of DORA’s decision to decline a review. 

“The Department’s decision to decline to conduct a sunrise review should not, however, be construed as evidence of DORA’s support for or opposition to any such proposed legislation,” she wrote.

No legislation was ever proposed that year.

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