Denver businesses risk legal trouble by not verifying security guard credentials

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DENVER (KDVR) — To better protect itself from legal action, 9NEWS and Pinkerton should have verified Matthew Dolloff was appropriately licensed in Denver, according to industry experts and city representatives.

Dolloff wasn’t licensed as a guard. That fact is potentially opening both 9NEWS and Pinkerton, the security firm, to some legal liability. 

It is still unclear who Dolloff, accused of killing a protester, works for directly. 9NEWS confirmed Dolloff provided security services for station personnel through Pinkerton. The Pinkerton firm, in turn, said it contracted Dolloff through a vendor that has not been named.

Grant Whitus, a retired SWAT sergeant and current president of Invicta Group Security in Denver, said security companies are obligated to ensure guards are licensed in Denver before assigning them to do work in Denver.

“Channel 9– hiring this person to do that for them— the first thing they should’ve done was ask for his armed guard badge prior to employing him,” Whitus said.

In a statement 9NEWS said, in part, “… Pinkerton, the private security firm, is responsible for ensuring its guards or those it contracts with are appropriately licensed …”

Denver’s City Attorney’s Office said 9NEWS, Pinkerton, or any entity hiring and deploying unlicensed guards in Denver can face criminal and civil action. In Denver, guards must pass an approved academy and background checks before receiving credentials from the city, according to Whitus. The city routinely investigates anything that seems suspicious in the security guard industry.

“They stay up on it,” Whitus explained. “They have people out there checking on these guards constantly— making sure everything is good.”

Whitus said, in this case, Dolloff was wrong. He also said multiple guards should have been deployed in a situation like the one that unfolded Saturday.

“If this gets even close to those reporters, move those reporters and get everybody out of there,” he said.

Whitus also said he would like to see the entire state of Colorado have a security guard licensing mandate. 

FOX31 reached out to Pinkerton, again, on Monday. Our request for response was not returned.

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