In California, any person working in a security position that isn’t a PPO (Private Patrol Operator) or working for a security company, must have a Guard Card or PSO License to legally work in this capacity according to state law. This required PSO training teaches bouncers, guards, and other security personnel the proper way to safely perform their duties and people. The state approved training course for PSOs includes:
- 2 hours of Powers to Arrest Training
- 2 hours of Weapons of Mass Destruction and Terrorism Awareness
- 12 hours of specific training as outlined in the BSIS Syllabus
In addition to simply fulfilling the state law, having bouncers and in house guards complete PSO training is highly beneficial for both the establishment and the employee and is shown to greatly reduce liability, underage drinking, violent incidents, and more. Consider this common scenario as an example of how a trained PSO likely acts differently than someone without the proper training.
Scenario: During a big playoff game, two of your bar patrons who are rooting for opposing teams between to argue. Things escalate and the two patrons begin to fight. Both patrons are intoxicated.
Common Response: The two bouncers working immediately go over to break up the fight. They forcefully pull the two patrons apart, each taking one patron and forcing them out of the bar on to the street. The two patrons are both kicked out at the same time. The bouncers go back in and warn their friends that fights are not tolerated.
PSO Trained Response: The two bouncers approached the patrons when the argument started to prevent the event from escalating into a full fight. They were each warned. Then as the arguing continued and the fight started, the bouncers immediately went over to break up the fight using the proper amount of force. One patron was taken outside, the other patron was taken to a side room to cool off. The names of both patrons were recorded from their identification. Once the first patron had left the area, the second patron was brought outside and asked to leave. This ensured that the fighting would not continue outside. Then the bouncers filled out an incident report describing exactly what happened. They also quickly got the name and numbers of a couple of witnesses in case anything came from the event at a later time.
Consequences: The bouncers who were trained ensured that the bar’s liability was limited to a much greater degree than the untrained bouncers. Not only did they take precautions to stop the fight before it started, once it did occur that took the proper measures to ensure that the patrons inside and those fighting were not harmed. Separating the patrons and having them leave at separate times lessened the chances that the fight continued on the street outside of the bar and that police were called. Moreover they documented the entire incident in case of any lawsuits or incidents after the fact.
This scenario is just one of many ways that having guards and PSOs take the proper training can make your bar a safer establishment and also one that is less likely to be liable when incidents do occur.