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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: November 26, 2019 09:58 AM
From: Senator Camera Bartolotta
To: All Senate members
Subject: Amendment to the Private Detective Law
I will soon introduce legislation to modernize the Private Detective Law of 1953, which sets forth the rules for working in a private security position.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2018 there were 42,900 people employed as security guards in Pennsylvania. These employees had an annual mean wage of $28,750. When it comes to hiring employees with criminal records, however, private security companies fear the enforcement of vague provisions in the law.

My legislation will update the law to clarify the standards for working in a security role. First, the law currently contains a lifetime ban on employment for those convicted of certain offenses. Not only are the listed offenses vague and, in some cases, antiquated, but also the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has ruled that lifetime bans on employment that are based on criminal convictions are unconstitutional. My bill will, therefore, specify criminal convictions that bar the employment of a person as a security guard for five years.

My bill will make similar changes to the provisions of the law relating to the issuance of a license to a private security company. The changes, which will modernize the law and cure its constitutional defect, will be consistent with efforts currently underway to make our system of occupational licensure consistent with reentry and workforce development.

Please join me in sponsoring this legislation to make reasonable changes to the law and enable thousands of Pennsylvanians to become employed.

Introduced as SB1237