Powers of arrest urged for private security

Former Police Commissioner, Cuthbert Phillips, has called for powers of arrest to be given to some private security guards once they become certified after a course of training at the Police Training Academy at La Toc.

“You have the police training school – sometimes that training school if you are not recruiting, it might be empty. That area can be used as a training school for private security officers. Action has to be taken in the light of what is happening,” Phillips asserted.

The former Police Commissioner is of the opinion that the training for the security officers should be paid for either by them or the company seeking to hire them.

He expressed the view that private security companies should only be allowed to hire certified security officers who would be able to support regular police officers in their fight against crime.

The former top cop said certified security officers should be paid a minimum wage.

“Sometimes an incident happens, it is not necessary that you call a police officer from Gros Islet or whatever,” Phillips declared, adding that a certified security officer will be able to act.

He noted that police officers retire after twenty years of service.

“A policeman joining the force at nineteen or eighteen – he gives twenty years of service and is only thirty eight years of age. Now if he has left the force and taken up employment elsewhere, this is trained police officer,” Phillips observed.

He expressed the view that such an individual can be made a special constable who has the powers of arrest and can take the necessary action in the event that law enforcement is needed.

Phillips made the comments  on Thursday afternoonduring a contribution to the Radio Caribbean International (RCI) call-in programme, Newsspin.

He served as  Commissioner of Police  from 1982 to 1988.



  1. Anonymous
    January 27, 2017 at 1:47 pm


  2. Anonymous
    January 27, 2017 at 2:39 pm

    Well said

  3. 666
    January 27, 2017 at 3:04 pm

    I support that, but don’t turn the country into a police state.

  4. viewer
    January 27, 2017 at 4:47 pm

    I concur with that concept,it will be beneficial to country,and for once people will see and take security officers more seriously,for in other countries;they have as much authority as police officers.

  5. Anonymous
    January 27, 2017 at 5:39 pm

    To get a security license in California it’s mandatory to take The Powers to arrest course.

    1. Brandon Horwath
      January 27, 2017 at 10:03 pm

      That is completely not true. Security officers in California do NOT have powers of arrest, nor is a California guard card course covering powers of arrest except to provide the clarification that a security guard does not have those powers. There is no such thing as a security license as you state. Take it from someone that works as an armed guard in California buddy.

      1. Anonymous
        January 28, 2017 at 6:56 am

        Everyone has arrest powers when it comes to certain felonies. Even in Kookafornia.

      2. Anonymous
        January 28, 2017 at 6:58 am

        California has licensing/guard cards for security. Level 1 thru 3.

      3. Brandon Horwath
        January 28, 2017 at 7:36 am

        Citizens arrest is not the same as the powers of arrest covered in POST (which this report refers to), therefore it is not the same powers of arrest as mentioned in the comments.

        Also, security officers have a guard card permit which is different from a license. A permit applies to certain periods and locations (like while on-duty as a paid position) opposed to a license which is universal (like a license to operate a class C vehicle applies to any class C) or a permit for an exposed weapon covers only certain instances.

        Commonly guard card permit holders are referred to as licensed security guards. This is technically incorrect.

      4. Richard L
        January 28, 2017 at 12:25 pm

        The fact is ALL persons in California have the right to arrest. The PC832 course for security is to inform the officer as to what exactly is an arrest and the requirements. Court cases in California have said security officers have a “color of authority” and therefore are held to a higher standard.

  6. Lee Roy
    January 27, 2017 at 6:01 pm

    That concept have already been introduced in SLU in the early 2000’s and resulted in many of these security officers moonlighting at INDIES Nightclub and other establishments.
    Maybe it was a pilot programe which the authorities saw was nit benefitial hence the discontinuation.

  7. Herb Weil
    January 27, 2017 at 6:29 pm

    I believe Security Officers should have training similar to law enforcement..Security Officers lack the respect of the public, because the public knows they have no more authority than they do..We should at least have the same training as peace officers, including armed training..Security Officers are assaulted and killed, because the DIRTBAGS know we have no real authority and lack any specialized training..The world is a powder keg,and well trained Security can be a great help to law enforcement..

  8. Uncle Sejay
    January 27, 2017 at 8:02 pm

    I truly think that guardsman security officer’s should be able to arrest cuz they have good securities officers working in that company and is well trained I think guardsman security officers is already being respected but given the power of arrest will make people respect them more

  9. Thomas McGee
    January 27, 2017 at 8:57 pm

    I think that’s right because we do this job every day and we don’t get no respect im out here all the time and a lot of people. Don’t give me know respect at all so think that class will. Be good for all security officers

  10. Brandon Horwath
    January 27, 2017 at 10:15 pm

    This guy wants people to pay for their own post training and the thanks is they are compensated with a minimum wage… “The former top cop said certified security officers should be paid a minimum wage.” Guess what, security officers now make an average $12 in the US and minimum wage is $8.50, how does this rationale make any sense? Increase the certifications on an industry and reduce the wages earned?

  11. gyarsilal gurjar
    January 28, 2017 at 1:02 am

    Securty krna chata hu

  12. Anonymous
    January 28, 2017 at 4:09 am

    Security officer has the power of arrest as a private person does. Its called private persons arrest. End of story.