DENVER (KDVR) — A year after a security guard shot and killed a man at dueling protests in Denver, the FOX31 Problem Solvers are looking into the impact the incident had on the industry and what goes into making sure hired guards put safety first.
Over the past year, the city of Denver has seen an 8% increase in the number of guards now properly licensed.
Denver requires 16 hours of training and an FBI check before a guard gets a license, then an additional 8 hours of training each year after.
Denver Metro Security company allowed the Problem Solvers to watch part of their training Friday.
“We never want to be the one that escalates and starts the aggression, we want to bring the tone down every single time,” use-of-force trainer Jeremy Baerns told the class at Denver Metro Security.
“So much of our training is focused on training our officers on not going hands-on,” Denver Metro Security general manager Anthony Vargas said.
Vargas said educating both guards and potential new clients has been essential over the past year, especially with the requests new clients are asking for since the shooting.
“Many of our clients will want plainclothes aspect or whether armed or unarmed, they are not identified by what their role is, so we want to make sure that we let our clients know we can’t do that,” Vargas said. “In vetting the employees, there’s been many times we’ve told somebody ‘this isn’t for you.’”
Vargas said they want to go above and beyond so both community members and their guards know safety is at the center of this industry. He said they are training their guards a lot more than the required number of hours, especially if they are getting an endorsement to carry a weapon.
“With firearms, we put our officers in 40 hours of training just to ensure,” Vargas said. “That’s above and beyond what the requirements, but we want to make sure they understand what their responsibilities are in carrying these types of weapons.”
Denver is one of only a handful of cities in Colorado that require licensing for security guards. Colorado, like most other states, does not have a requirement.