New law taking effect Monday could mean uncertified security guards statewide

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There are about 10,000 security guards statewide who work in the hotel industry, residential, public and or private companies.

Melissa Faufata has been working as a security guard at the city’s municipal building for the last 16 years.

Friday afternoon, she was notified that she needed to attend an eight-hour mandatory training.

“Of course we’re going to do what we need to do but its frustration as to why so late,” City and County of Honolulu security guard Melissa Faufata said.

Faufata was one of three people who signed up for the training at the state capitol auditorium Saturday.

“We expected a big crowd because of our knowledge of everybody having to go through this but it is what it is,” Faufata said.

Jeff Owens who is conducting the training sessions this weekend says he was asked by the state Friday afternoon.

“Because of the last-minute nature of this the word did not get out to people who this opportunity is available to them,” Transcend Inc. co-owner Jeff Owens said.

In 2010, state lawmakers enacted the law to create a minimum standard for all security guards statewide.

“By having that minimum standard there’s more confidence in what the security guards should be able to provide,” Department of Commerce & Consumer Affairs Brent Suyama said.

In order to be certified, security guards must have a high school diploma, or ged or equivalent, must provide fingerprints for a criminal background check and attend an 8 hour training session.

“When your register with us you get a card you’re supposed to carry it with you whenever you are working as a security guard,” Suyama said.

And, although, the law goes into effect Monday, there are no penalties in place yet for those who are not certified.

“The penalty phase right now is a little bit off we’re trying to ease people into this and try to make sure what needs to be done,” Suyama said.

A training session will be held again Sunday at the Hawaii State Capitol auditorium.

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