Interim Order 19-003 Holsters and Duty Rigs

Purpose:

To re-establish awareness of and to expand the safety-focused intent of existing policy with respect to security officer equipment—specifically that of duty holsters, belts and related equipment.

History:

Existing law and rule with respect to security officer equipment is noticeably silent with respect to how a security officer should carry and secure firearms while in the course and scope of their employment when on post.  Relying on companies, their owners and qualifying agents to drive weapons safety is inadequate in the face of real-time events occurring in our industry.

There is no specific guidance on how weapons should be worn and the minimum threat level of retention a holster should meet.

Inspections conducted by the LSBPSE over the past four years have garnered alarming results.

Inspectors have found officers on post with Uncle Mike’s styled holsters that can easily be physically ripped from the officer’s waist without much strength or effort required.  Inspectors have been in the presence of officers who have had guns tucked in their pants, and those with holsters that had no retention mechanism whatsoever.  While these instances have been addressed with the companies simultaneous with the discovery, it has become clear this agency that poor holster choice, design, and types are pervasive in our industry.

Recent shootings in our state, over the past year have involved instances where the security officer’s weapon was in an unfavorable duty rig configuration.

Because of the extremely dangerous nature of this reality, and the fact that there are cost-effective and highly desirable alternatives to poorly made holsters, the Board is issuing the following directive effective immediately:

Holster and Duty Rig Directive:

Level I holsters should always be strictly prohibited for purposes of use by armed, uniformed security officers.

Level I holsters are inherently unsafe and present little to no weapon retention attributes.

Level II holsters are to be considered only as a baseline recommendation for purposes of use by armed, uniformed security officers. 

Level II holsters typically possess active and passive retention mechanisms that bring a moderate level of gun retention to the carrying of a firearm that is visible to the public.

LEVEL II

Level II styled safe carry holsters.

Level III holsters are the State Board’s preferred and recommended holster for armed, uniformed security officers.

Level III holsters possess passive and active retention measures.  Additionally, Level III holsters typically have a third mechanism, usually in the form of a hood that covers the back of the slide of a semi-automatic handgun.

LEVEL III

Level III safe carry holster. Preferred by Law Enforcement and the Board.

Level III holsters mitigate the potential for someone with adequate strength and leverage from defeating a Level II configuration buy adding a third security countermeasure.  Typically, Level III us the standard in modern day law enforcement duty rigs.

With respect to the phrase “duty rig” Board inspectors have encountered other alarming configurations in the field.  Security officers have been observed placing Level I holsters directly onto their pants belt.  This is woefully inadequate for firearms of the four (4) inch barrel length to five (5) inch variety.  The weight of these weapons, when fully loaded, coupled with the poor design and weight distribution of Level I holsters creates a dangerous situation for armed, uniformed security personnel.

Security offices should have an appropriately assembled combination of pants and duty belts that are secured in such a way as to aid in the safe retention of the weapon being carried.  Heavy-duty tactical or patrol style equipment belts are best suited to being paired with a sound Level II or III duty holster.  This is what is required of law enforcement officers, and for good reason.  Weapon retention begins with how secure the holster is on the belt.  Dress belts are not suited to the rigor of being yanked and twisted during a scuffle and can seriously jeopardize the safety of the security officer and the public.

Holsters being worn fastened directly to pants belts, or to pants with no belt is severely frowned upon and should not be allowed.

Security officers should be required to wear a proper fitting pants belt that can be fastened to a proper fitting duty rig built that is designed to hold firearms, extra rounds, handcuffs and other related equipment loadouts.

Future iterations of the Title 37 statutes and Title 46 rules will seek to codify these concerns in support of this policy initiative.

Lastly, the firearm a security officer trains with is what they should be carrying on duty.  Security officers train and re-certify once per year on their firearms proficiency.  Training an officer on a Taurus, only to have them carry a Sig is not ideal for their ability to know how and when to clear the weapon, clear a jammed weapon or even shoot the weapon proficiently.

The law requires that security officers train with the caliber of weapon they will carry, and the Board strenuously recommends that the make and model of weapon on which a security officers trains, correlates to what they will use in the field.

Any questions regarding this policy, as issued via this Executive Order, should be directed to Fabian P. Blache III at 225-272-2310 Ext. 220. FPB/bah

CLICK HERE FOR MORE DETAILS

10 comments

  1. “Paddle Holsters” and “Clip-on Holsters” should also be strictly prohibited. These type of holsters provide little to no weapon retention attributes. These holsters are not suitable for the rigor of being yanked or twisted from the security officer’s belt or duty rug during a scuffle; and tends to come free during draw of a weapon from its holster. Consequently, use of these holsters “can” and “will” cause serious jeopardy to the safety of the security officer and the public.

  2. Good afternoon Mr. Blanche: I appreciate this Order 10-003. It is much needed. I have had people come to the firearms classes with all type of holster and some with none at all. They indicate that the company is going to supply a holster for them but haven’t received one at the time of the class.
    Question: As an instructor my POWERPOINT Presentation covers the equipment and placement. I send notices to the supervisors advising of equipment needed for the class however, I guess it falls on deaf ears. Will there be any stipulations given to instructors on how to handle these situations in the future? If they do not have the proper equipment do we not allow them to take the class?
    Thanks in advance for your consideration of this request.

    Cpt. Merrion S. Taylor
    337-224-8176

      • FabianB3,

        With all due respect, you should restrict training based on equipment. Let me explain liability because this is my area of expertise.

        Under liability, if it is the responsibility of the state or instructors to adequately train officers and to make sure those officers are proficient enough in the instruction then they too can be held liable if that student hurts someone.

        Even in Security, we can be sued for inadequate security services. This is why I will NEVER put an officer at a post unarmed. right now several lawsuits which will have a major impact on NOT ONLY security but to states who train guards like in VA and the guards mess up.

        Right now I am dealing with a client who is being sued over a 4th Amendment violation because he hired an off duty police officer, that officer wore his uniform for the security job, the officer searched a purse of a suspected shoplifter who didn’t shoplift and not only are they going after the store that hired the officer, they are going after the officer, the police department he works for and just found out today they are bringing the police academy into the suite because they are the ones who trained him.

        in all honesty, the LEO should have known that even off duty he still is working under color of state and should have never searched her purse. He should not have worn his uniform. had he been in a security uniform no attorney would have picked up the case but because they know states and municipalities settle out of court quicker they are suing left and right here.

        Another officer upstate is facing the same issue as a courtesy officer who entered an apartment on an eviction because they say he was in his uniform and entered the apartment because the manager was putting the tenants out and wanted him to do a civil standby.

    • Merrion Taylor,

      I used to train at our Police Department, I would throw students out of a class for not bringing the proper equipment to the classes.

      Not only do businesses know what a student should or should not have but it is the student’s responsibility to show up prepared. if they don’t then I consider them untrainable because they can not follow basic instructions and if they do not follow simple instructions I will not be liable if they hurt someone.

      that’s just my 2 cents because at the end of the day YOU ANSWER to the NRA because of a student hurting someone and your liability if something goes wrong in that class.

      This is why I replace employees quickly if they can’t follow basic post orders but at the same time, everyone knows I am quick to reward if they go above and beyond. That’s why my guys are quick learners and can recite anything they are asked about a post, the orders of that post, premises liability issues to clients and they are my mouth pice when it comes to inadequate security issues with a client.

      This is not a business area that we need to coddle and micromanage if they mess up out the gate replace.

  3. I am in total agreement.

    As former military and law enforcement, equipment must be of better than good quality equipment.

    At BLI Contract Security officers can not wear any uniforms or equipment not purchased through us for not only liability reasons but because we want all of our officers to be uniformed and if in the event of an emergency they know where the equipment is on another officer if they must use it.

    We also MAKE our officers qualify 2 times a year, we send them through active shooter training and if they do not know how to disassemble, re-assemble and show they are proficient in the use of any firearm they are not allowed to carry and must work either a fire watch post.

    I am really glad to see the state taking responsibility to police this market as the dwindling ranks of law enforcement puts more responsibilities onto the security industry.

    We are currently based in Mississippi but putting in for licensing in LA and AL for our major clients. We are more of a Physical security-based company and not a guard company, we allow our officers to make arrests and use force when there is a threat to the safety of invitees or employees.

    I would like to see an article on when security may or may not make arrests.
    In Mississippi when my guys make an arrest they have the affidavits filled out for that arrest, the booking sheet, then they appear in court. We also file trespass notices so that subject can never return to the property and then we keep the trespass order on our Guard reporting software where we can also run a person by name, BDOB and SS#

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *