NASCO Endorses Legislation to Dramatically Increase Availability of Federal Criminal Background Checks for Private Security Officers
Legislation by Congressman Thomas Marino (R-Pennsylvania) will allow DOJ Authorized Third Party Screeners to Conduct FBI Checks in Instances Where the State Does Not Provide Such Screening
WASHINGTON, March 6, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The National Association of Security Companies (NASCO), the nation’s largest industry association representing contract private security officer companies, today endorsed H.R. 4112, the Private Security Officer Screening Improvement Act (PSOSIA) by Congressman Thomas Marino (R-Pennsylvania).
The PSOSIA amends the Private Security Officer Employment Authorization Act (PSOEAA) to allow DOJ authorized “screening entities” to conduct FBI checks on private security officers, as provided for in the PSOEAA, for authorized employers when such checks are not available from the State of employment.
“The PSOSIA will dramatically increase availability of FBI criminal background checks for all private security officers,” said Jeff Flint, Executive Director of NASCO, “and that will make the public safer. The public wants to know that when they rely on a private security officer for their safety as they do in so many venues, that officer has been subject to a background check. It’s the simple.”
In 2004, Congress passed the PSOEAA in clear recognition of the need for employers of private security officers to have access to the best criminal background check available, an FBI criminal history record check. However, the PSOEAA required such checks to be conducted by a state government agency, and unfortunately, too many states still do not provide the checks for all security officers eligible to be checked under the PSOEAA. This effectively means that tens if not hundreds of thousands of security officers in the United States work without a full FBI check of their criminal history.
The PSOSIA would allow employers of security officers, to go through a Department of Justice-authorized “screening entity” for an FBI check when the state of employment does not provide the check. A “screener” is a third-party entity authorized by DOJ to access FBI criminal records and provide background checks for employers. Third party entities are already being used for congressionally authorized FBI background checks in fields such as banking, nursing homes, financial securities, and others. Their use should also be expanded to private security.
“NASCO has always been at the forefront of increasing standards and professionalism in private security,” continued Flint. “The current gap in the PSOEAA is a public safety and homeland security risk and it must be closed. We thank Congressman Marino for his leadership in introducing the PSOSIA, and urge Congress to act quickly to adopt it.”
About NASCO – The National Association of Security Companies (NASCO) is the nation’s largest contract security industry association, representing private security companies that employ more than 250,000 of the nation’s most highly trained security officers servicing every business sector. NASCO is leading efforts to set meaningful standards for the private security industry and security officers by monitoring state and federal legislation and regulations affecting the quality and effectiveness of private security services.
SOURCE National Association of Security Companies