MARYLAND – “We need our first responders to have the best training and be prepared to handle any and all situations,” said Maryland Senator Jill P. Carter.
Maryland Lawmakers recently introduced Senate Bill 760, which would require all security guards statewide to be licensed. “Many of these security officers are employed by private companies and there is currently no standardized training,” Senator Carter said.
Under the bill, the Maryland Police Training and Standards Commission would establish training standards for personnel in areas such as use of force and de-escalation tactics.
It’s something Atlantic Tactical Firearm Trainers in Salisbury tell me is already an essential part of their courses.
ATFT provides firearms training to both civilians and law enforcement agencies in a safe environment with instructors who have nearly a century of combined experience. “If you don’t have people who are properly trained in de-escalation, it can cause a situation that can be resolved very quickly and easily to escalate into something that can be very volatile,” Otwell said.
ATFT co-owner Timothy Otwell says their training simulator is similar to those used by law enforcement agencies across the country and can cost upwards of $100,000.
He adds that this could be a concern for some companies. “It’s one of those things that you have to weigh the greater good against the costs. Still, most of the people that I think are seeking this career would seek out that kind of training,” Otwell said.
Bill Sponsor Senator Jill Carter says the increased training standards will not only help job performance. “I also think in some ways it could be a stepping stone to law enforcement or other top security jobs. I also think it will give us the general public a great sense of comfort and security to know that our first responders who are security officers will train,”
Atlantic Tactical Firearm Training tells me the simulator has allowed them to go above and beyond what most facilities can to ensure the guards have the training they need.
The bill passed the Senate and now goes to the House for consideration.