Dedication of Mr. Frank Blackburn, Esq., as Chief Legal Counsel Emeritus

 

State Board Proclamation posthumously naming Frank Blackburn, Esq., Chief Legal Counsel Emeritus

The Board looks on while presiding over the reading of the proclamation.  Presiding Chair Pro tem, Marian H. Pierre, offers  moving commentary about Mr. Blackburn’s history of service with the LSBPSE. Seated from left to right are; Misty Finchum, Ritchie Rivers, Mark Williams, Marian Pierre, Ed Robinson, Wilbert Sanders, Maria Landry and Hector Echegoyen.

State Board Executive Director & CAO, Fabian P. Blache III, reads into the record that Frank Blackburn, Esq., was posthumously named Chief Legal Counsel Emeritus of the LSBPSE.

Frank’s family accepting framed Emeritus dedications signed by the Board.

 

Insurance & Fines: What is and what is not!

GREETINGS!

Despite the fact that the LSBPSE now communicates via Facebook, Twitter, MailChimp and our revised website presences, there are still instances of company owners being unfamiliar with State Board rules and laws.  There are some particular areas of focus upon which we seek to provide further clarity and information:

INSURANCE REQUIREMENTS

Companies must have and maintain the following (see LAC 46 Part LIX for coverage limits):

  • General Liability
  • Errors and Omissions
  • Care Custody and Control
  • Auto coverages where applicable
  • Workers’ Compensation

We have received questions about the workers’ compensation requirement.  Louisiana is an NCCI state.  Per the Louisiana Workforce Commission “Workers’ compensation is a legal remedy whereby an employee who is injured on the job may be entitled to certain benefits.  The benefits can include medical care for the injury, indemnity wage benefits, vocational rehabilitation services, and/or death benefits.

“Most employees in Louisiana are covered from the day they start employment.  Employees may be fulltime, part-time, seasonal, or minors.

“Employers are required to have workers’ compensation insurance or to be approved to self-insure.  If any employee has reason to believe that his or her employer is not covered or if the employer requires an employee to pay for or purchase a workers’ compensation insurance policy, this violation should be reported to the Office of Workers’ Compensation Administration (OWCA) Fraud & Compliance section at toll free 1-800-201-3362.”

NOTE: Failure to possess and maintain required insurances will be immediate grounds for suspension or revocation of a license.  For additional information see LSBPSE Executive Order 16-0004.

The State Board provides for the holding of hearings as an integral component of its disciplinary action policies with a couple of notable exceptions.  LAC Part LIX Chapter 6 A reads in part:

Before revoking or suspending a license or registration card, or imposing fines or costs over $500, the board will afford the applicant an opportunity for a hearing after reasonable notice of not less than 15 days, except in a case of a failure to maintain the required insurance or when a registrant is found carrying an unauthorized weapon while performing the duties of a security officer.

It is critical that the State Board receives (annually before expiration) a copy of your Certificate of Insurance (COI) listing EACH of the required coverages on the face of the certificate, and that the COI names the State of Louisiana as an additional insured.  Failure to provide proof of insurance will, at the very least, result in summary suspension of the company license and a notification to all contract holders that security services being provided must  halt immediately, until such time as coverage concerns are resolved and the license is reinstated.

Be mindful that a suspended or revoked license can result in future termination of your company services, based upon the terms of the contract.

FINE SCHEDULE

Sample of State Board administrative fines calculated at the max fine rate per item.
Sample of State Board administrative fines calculated at the max fine rate per item.

In addition to these provisions, it is also extremely important to familiarize yourselves with the fine schedule that appears in the State Board rules LAC 46 Part LIX Chapter 9 Section 903 C.  The fine schedule is as follows:

Licensee’s failure to submit security officer application, fingerprint card, and/or necessary registration fees within prescribed time period. If the application, fingerprint card, and/or registration fees are not submitted within 14 days after deadline date, administrative fine accumulates at a daily rate, not to exceed $500.

Licensee’s failure to resubmit fingerprint card after two written requests by the board when a deadline date is given. If the fingerprint card is not resubmitted within 14 days after deadline date, administrative fine accumulates at a daily rate, not to exceed $500.

Licensee’s failure to notify the board in writing within prescribed time period of security officers in their employ who have been terminated. If termination is not submitted within 14 days after deadline date, administrative fine accumulates at a daily rate, not to exceed $500.

Licensee or registrant’s failure to submit information as requested by the board when a deadline date is given. If information is not submitted within 14 days after deadline date, administrative fine accumulates at a daily rate, not to exceed $500. This is an important fine to understand.  The State Board requests copies of SSN cards, driver’s licenses, I-9 etc.  Failure to submit each piece of information timely can result in a fine of $500 per item.

Licensee’s failure to submit company license renewal fee prior to expiration date. Fine accumulates at a daily rate, not to exceed $500.

Licensee’s failure to submit renewal application and renewal fee for a registrant in their employ prior to expiration date. If the renewal application and renewal fee are not submitted within 14 days after deadline date, administrative fine accumulates at a daily rate, not to exceed $500.

Licensee’s failure to have registrant in their employ trained within prescribed time period. If registrant is not trained within 14 days after deadline date, administrative fine accumulates at a daily rate, not to exceed $500.

Licensee’s failure to submit to the board a training verification form on a registrant in their employ within prescribed time period. If training verification is not submitted within 14 days after deadline date, administrative fine accumulates at a daily rate, not to exceed $500.

There are other fines in the schedule that are not depicted here in this posting.  Please review the fine schedule in detail HERE.

Fees cover the costs associated with daily State Board operations. Fines are designed to drive compliance behavior.  We at the State Board prefer to expend our manpower and resources assuring that our state’s security workforce is properly documented, vetted and trained rather than tracking down required documentation, issuing fines, tracking collection of fines, and taking adverse actions against owners’ licenses.

Nevertheless, in furtherance of this agency’s mandate to protect the people of the State of Louisiana, we will apply the fine schedule as-written when appropriate or otherwise mandated.

HOW WE APPLY FINES

NOTE:  The LSBPSE fine schedule has not CHANGED.  It has been in place for many years and is being applied as written and intended.  Companies in compliance, which represents most, needn’t be concerned about this body of rule.  Companies not in compliance should take heed rigorously.

With the exception of those instances that involve gross violations, egregious behavior, or more specifically insurance and unauthorized weapons violations, the State Board will generally apply the fine schedule in the following, progressive discipline manner:

Example No 1:  All required documents are received by the State Board past deadline.  The fine starts to calculate (daily) 14 days post-deadline as stated in the rules, and the fine in this example is for documentation submitted another ten (10) days beyond those thresholds:

  • The fine(s) will initially be calculated and listed in its total amount “per officer” i.e., $3550.00 (see fine schedule)
    • The fine(s) will initially be assessed at a reduced total of $500 per officer
      • If (in this sample instance) the $500 fine per officer is paid within ten (10) days of the date of the fine notice, the fine will be documented as SATISFIED IN FULL for that instance
    • If the $500 fine is NOT paid within ten (10) days of the fine notice, the LSBPSE will adjust the fine upward to one-half (%50) the total maximum fine, in this example $1775.00
      • If the $1775.00 adjusted fine is not paid within five (5) days of the date of the second notice, the fine will be adjusted up to the original maximum calculation of $3550.00, and will be accompanied with a Cease & Desist notice enforcing a summary suspension of the company license pending hearing

In instances that involve gross violations, or egregious behavior, such as insurance and unauthorized weapons violations, the State Board will immediately take action to assess the maximum possible administrative fines allowable,  suspend or revoke the company license and compel a hearing, where necessary, to determine if the imposition of additional fines is warranted.  These additional fines are outlined in Title 37 as follows:

L.R.S. TITLE 37

§3288. Administrative penalties

A.(1) Any person who is determined by the board, after reasonable notice and opportunity for a fair and impartial hearing held in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act, to have committed an egregious act that is a violation of this Chapter or regulation or rule issued thereunder is subject to an administrative penalty of not more than five thousand dollars per violation per day and shall subject such person to revocation of his license. Such egregious acts shall include but not be limited to the following:

(a) Knowingly operating a private security business without meeting the insurance requirements as provided for in this Chapter.

(b) Consistently operating a private security business in violation of the insurance requirements provided for in this Chapter.

(c) Submitting fraudulent documents to the board as required or requested by the board.

(d) Forgery of any documentation submitted to the board. (e) Operating a private security business without obtaining the required firearms training.

(2) Any person committing any non-egregious acts in violation of this Chapter or any regulation or rule issued thereunder is subject to an administrative penalty of not more than one thousand dollars per violation per day.

B. The board, in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act, may adopt a schedule of administrative penalties for minor violations that can be assessed by the executive secretary when the violator waives the right to an administrative hearing. Acts 1984, No. 505, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1985; Acts 1989, No. 552, §1; Act 1991, No. 315, §1; Acts 2006, No. 198, §1.

Conversely, fineable offenses that are discovered, captured or revealed within the context of the $50 daily rate, and have not maxed out to $500 per offense, will be assessed at the daily rate.  The accumulation of additional fines will cease during the notification and receipt-of-payment process.  Should the fine notice be ignored, and not paid within the prescribed time frame, the fines will begin to accrue at the daily rate, not to exceed $500 per violation.

Any questions about this notice should be directed to Executive Director, Fabian P. Blache III at 225-2727-2310 Ext 8.

AUTHORIZED DUTY WEAPONS POLICY

Due to a recent, documented, accidental discharge of a weapon that occurred at a public facility, we are re-establishing, by Executive Order, the salient portions of LAC 46 Part LIX Chapter 4, Section 405(E).

LSBPSE Executive Order 17-002 Authorized Duty Weapons

It is imperative that all owners, QAs and firearms instructors familiarize themselves with this policy.  Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action by the State Board up to and including revocation of company, instructor and security officer licenses.

BIG Changes MUST READ

As we move toward implementing our new eLicensure portal in the coming months, there are several other critical adjustments we will make to the benefit of our security officers, instructors and industry partner companies alike.  So…let’s get started:

First, we will be migrating all security officers, companies, instructors and QAs to a bi-modal licensure cycle.  What does that mean?  It’s simple.  All security officers over the next two years will have their expiration dates adjusted to March 31, 20XX.  Every year, renewals will open on October 1st and end the following March 31st.

Initial Credentialing

Initial Cycle

Officers who successfully complete the credentialing process between: Your initial certification date will be March 31
        January 01-June 30 2 years in the future
         July 1-December 31 3 years in the future

Once everyone cycles through, every company licensed in Louisiana will know that their security officers all expire on the same date.  Since firearms certifications are annual, and are tied to the day training and testing is completed, it will be up to the company training officer or coordinator to track and maintain firearms credentialing.  That will be made a bit easier with the advent of the eLicensure portal, but will remain the responsibility of the security officer and their employer to assure no gap in certification.  The new system, once implemented, will immediately downgrade any security officer credential to an “unarmed” status effective 12:00 AM on the morning that their firearms certification expires.  Fines will also be immediately assessed for lapses not properly communicated to the licensure section of the State Board.

Because of the six (6) month head start for executing renewals, there will and can be no grace periods of any kind.  Credentialing is the legal authority and cover granted by the State of Louisiana under to function; moreover, uncredentialed individuals are not covered by the requisite insurance policies the state requires by law.

Between October 1st and March 31st, prior to the requirement to be renewed by April 1st, all security officers, going forward, will be required to complete a refresher training course prescribed by the State Board.  This training course will be the responsibility of the security officer to complete and will be conducted via an online training delivery mechanism.  The training is designed to guarantee that each officer scores 100% by scoring the initial pass through the material and test, and then taking them back through the portions they missed to assure that the information is being conveyed and understood. Upon completion, they will be able to upload a copy of their certificate into the eLicensure portal for review by the Training and Education Section.

This training can be done via smart phone, tablet, laptop of desktop computer, and will be accessible on public workstations such as those found in State Public Libraries.  Using an online delivery method obviates the need for travel, scheduling and the like.  The cost of the training every two (2) years will be nominal–meaning substantially less than the $250.00 that is required for other professional licenses.  Current estimates to the process place the cost somewhere around $40.00 every two (2) years–keeping the refresher courses from being cost-prohibitive to the security officers and the companies that may choose to pay for or subsidize the cost upon renewal.

Fingerprint Fee Reduced to $48.00

EFECTIVE OCTOBER 1st 2016

This is a re-post from July 13, 2016:

In addition to not having to reproduce fingerprints on individuals who have already been printed for the LSBPSE after May 2011, the Federal cost to process fingerprints has been reduced by $2.75 cents.  This brings the total Fingerprint Fee from $50.75 to just:

$48.00

 

 

 

 

IASIR Conference Las Vegas

The IASIR conference in Las Vegas, Nevada enjoyed strong turnout and a very robust few days of presentation and discussion related to Private Security and Private Investigative regulation.  Louisiana was well represented. Board members Ed Robinson, and Wilbert Sanders were there along with Board Chair Ms. Marian H. Pierre.

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The focus was Homeland Security and there was considerable discussion about background checks and the efficacy of psychology testing. Louisiana contributed to the sessions on Credentialing, Fraud and Investigations by presenting a 90 minute session, and then facilitating two 2-hour breakouts on the topics.

Marian Pierre, Ed Robinson and Wilbert Sanders
Marian Pierre, Ed Robinson and Wilbert Sanders

There was a general consensus that electronic licensure is a key to better vetting, reduces fee leakage, allows for directing more focus on background investigations and reviews.  Other presentations from various state leaders and federal partners underscored the importance of working together, leveraging local fusion centers and the need for more throughput back from the FBI.

Bill signing of HB 582 and HB 197

HB 582 Bill Signing
Governor John Bel Edwards Signing HB 582 into law.

On June 16, 2016, LSBPSE Executive Secretary, Fabian P. Blache III, was on-hand at the bill signing ceremony during which HB 582 was signed into law.  See the WAFB Press Release listed below:

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) –

There are now stiffer penalties for people who assault officers in Louisiana.

Gov. John Bel Edwards signed a bill into law Thursday that makes it a felony to attack law enforcement with any kind of weapon.

Before the new law, aggravated assault on a peace officer only applied if the offender used a gun. Now, all weapons are included.

Rep. Katrina Jackson, D-Monroe, who authored HB 582, said a district attorney in her area brought some of these cases to her attention, including one where officers were attacked by a man with an axe. The suspect only faced a misdemeanor.

“If someone attacked me as an everyday citizen, it’s aggravated assault,” Jackson said. “But if you attack a peace officer without us expanding the law, then it was just a misdemeanor. So it became very important because I think we should protect those who protect us.”

The governor also signed HB 802 into law which reduces the time inmates have to wait before they are eligible for parole, and rather than requiring a unanimous vote from a parole board to be released, they only need two-thirds majority.

Copyright 2016 WAFB. All rights reserved.

Private Security Officers as First Responders

imageWhen the public thinks of First Responders, they often discount the fact that private security officers are the originating First Responders. Police, Fire and EMS are not first on scene of an event as often as the Private Security Officer—in the natural flow of an emerging situation.

Perception is reality, but only in the absence of communication.

The private security industry has within its power the ability to shift the paradigm and perception of the public. Here at the LSBPSE, we are committed to assisting our industry in doing just that. Private security officers and the public at large, are often the first and convergent responders to an incident. It is the security industry and the public who typically make notification to municipal and parish first responder services, such as police, fire and EMS.

The LSBPSE is developing a very brief survey to see if the industry would like (and would benefit from) the development and offering of FREE training, conducted regionally, to address emerging trends, techniques and areas of focus for our security officers who are on post.  This is a value added service to achieve our mandate to give credit for continuing professional education (L.R.S. 37:3274).

Let’s not allow misconceptions shape our reality.

As business owners, and employees, we all know the harsh realities of being the boots on the ground response force, whether it’s be in a small, medium or large setting. Help the LSPBSE educate the public, as we seek to gather and share stories that demonstrate how a great many of our licensed officers are truly unsung heroes!