Advisory Committee Meeting Minutes for May 3, 2011

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Advisory Committee Meeting Minutes

Meeting Date: 05/03/2011

Location: Sacramento, CA

Committee Members in Attendance

Jim Diaz, California Institute for Professional Investigators (CIPI)
David Chandler, California Association of Training Facilities
Jon Sargent, California Alarm Association (CAA)
Joe Valenzuela, Sacramento Police Department
Patty O'Ran, Department of Justice (DOJ)
Steve Reed, Proprietary Private Security Officers
John Brueggeman, California Locksmith Association (CLA)
Dennis Sebenick, Customer Protection Services
Roy Rahn, California Assn. of Licensed Security Agencies, Guards & Associates (CALSAGA)
Chris Wilson, California Association of Licensed Repossessors

Committee Members Absent

Steve Leibrock, Sacramento Sheriffs Department
Jimmy Hunt, California Association of Licensed Repossessors (CALR)
Glenn Younger, California Locksmith Association (CLA)
Tom Rankin, Southern California Security Association (SCSA)
David G Herrera, Professional Investigators of California (PICA)
Jim Zimmer, California Association Licensed Investigators
Rick Von Geldern, Professional Investigators of California Association

Department of Consumer Affairs, Executive Staff

Michael Santiago, Legal Counsel

BSIS Staff in Attendance

Jeff Mason, Chief
Connie Trujillo, Deputy Chief
Clarisa Serrato-Chavez, Policy Manager
Vicky Heibeck, Licensing Manager
George Paddeck, Enforcement Manager
Diana Cuccia, Licensing Manager
Noreene De Koning, Bureau Representative
Mitch Kojima, Bureau Representative
Lamont Dukes, Bureau Representative

Welcoming Remarks and Introductions

Jim Diaz called the meeting to order at 9:15 am and everyone recited the Pledge of Allegiance. Mr. Diaz thanked everyone for attending and introduced Bureau Chief, Jeff Mason.

Bureau Updates

Chief Mason stated that the Bureau's licensing numbers are up by 55% from this time last year. He informed the Committee that the guard card makes up 85% of the Bureau's business and stated that there was a 30% increase in phone calls coming into the company; 65,000 applications/guard cards were received and processed, 40,000 address changes were processed, and 83,000 phone calls were received. Chief Mason proceeded to inform the Committee of the Bureau's internal reorganization.

Chief Mason also mentioned Governor Brown's notification to state agencies to be prudent with expenditures. The Bureau is not able to hire new employees at this time and unnecessary travel is not being permitted.

Chief Mason reminded the Committee of the Proprietary Private Security Employer (PSE) law coming into effect and stated there would be an education process. He further stated that there is an unknown population of different private sector industries that need to be registered. He concluded by stating that BSIS could be reached by phone, on Facebook, Twitter, and the Bureau website; and that he looks forward to working with the committee for the remainder of the year.

Legislative Update

Chief Mason stated there was no update at this time.

Committee Member Updates

David Chandler, California Association of Training Facilities, stated that training facilities needed to get the Bureau's permission to administer proprietary private security officer (PSO) training courses. A training facility would need to send a letter along with a resume to the Bureau to review. Mr. Chandler went on to state that regulations do not require training facilities to provide in person training to PSOs and that multiple training methods could be used. Mr. Chandler asked Chief Mason when the industry could expect to be able to register a PSO applicant online, and Chief Mason stated that the new system would not be available for 3 to 4 years.

Jon Sargent, past president of the California Alarm Association (CAA), informed the Committee that CAA offers scholarships for youth programs in each regional area. CAA has 11 national chapters and continues to partner with the California Peace Officer Association.

CAA continues to work to reduce and eliminate false alarms, and focus on consumer protection. One challenge CAA faces is working with cities, faced with down sizing (layoffs). Mr. Sargent stated that FBI statistics show a burglary occurs every 14 seconds between 6 AM and 6 PM with criminals entering thru the front door while the home owner is at work. Homes with monitoring alarm systems are 1/3 less likely to get burglarized than homes without alarm monitoring systems.

Chris Wilson, California Association of Licensed Repossessors (CALR), informed the Committee of CALR's upcoming 50th anniversary in 2012. Mr. Wilson proceeded to inform the Committee of the repo industries struggle with unlicensed/unregistered activity in Southern California. Mr. Wilson reported an incident to the Committee of a woman being dragged to death under a tow truck by an unregistered repo agent. He also mentioned that out of state companies are purchasing repo agencies that locate or recover collateral. Mr. Wilson concluded his comments by stating that the third issue facing the repo industry is TV shows (Operation Repo and Repo Games) giving the public the wrong idea of how to interact with a tow truck driver.

Captain Joe Valenzuela, Sacramento Police Department (SPD), informed the Committee of his retirement at the end of July. Mr. Valenzuela stated that financial issues and layoffs are hurting the SPD, and could break up the unit that works with BSIS. Captain Valenzuela concluded by stating he is waiting to see what will happen with the budget and SPD continues to work with BSIS to regulate unlicensed activity.

Roy Rahn, CALSAGA (California Association Licensing Security Agencies Guards and Associates), stated that CALSAGA is actively recruiting PSE companies to become members of his association. Mr. Rahn stated that the PSO training criteria was written to complement that of the criteria for guard training. Mr. Rahn informed the Committee that Disney Resorts, AEG (Staple Center) and the San Diego Padres are now members of CALSAGA.

Mr. Rahn announced that CALSAGA's annual conference will be held on October 5 - 7, 2011 in San Francisco.

Mr. Rahn continued by updating the Committee of the legislative activity CALSAGA is monitoring: AB 811 - the method a PPO can loan out weapons; AB 350 - changes the displaced janitor bill and makes it a displaced service worker bill; AB 400 - a sick leave bill which requires employees who have been continuously employed for 6 months to being accruing vacation at one hour per every 30 hours worked.

Francine Kehalor, CALI Legislative Chair, announced that CALI launched their "In Light" program on March 12, 2011 and 40 people became new members. On March 14, 2011, CALI had their "Ledge Day" which serves to build relations with state elected officials. Ms. Kehalor informed the Committee of CALI's upcoming annual conference on June 24, 2011 in Reno.

Ms. Kehalor further informed the Committee of the involvement of CALI's Unlicensed Committee when they reported the unlicensed activity of Edgar Joseph Ortega to BSIS. The City of Hawthorne paid Mr. Ortega $13,000 to investigate city employees; however, Mr. Ortega was not properly licensed. In that last eleven months CALI's Unlicensed Committee reported 48 cases to BSIS and they will continue to submit cases of unlicensed activity to the Bureau.

On the technical side, Ms. Kehalor stated that CALI was hosting web training, offering scholarships, putting together a PI magazine and sending a copy to all CALI members, and offering Biz-Unite discounts for members.

Ms. Kehalor concluded by informing the Committee of a list of bills CALI was monitoring: SB761 - online privacy bill; AB22 - employer running a credit check on a perspective employee prior to hiring the person; AB452 by Senator Ma - restrictions on tracking devices; AB830 - flexible work schedule; and SB24 by Assemblyman Block - California Postsecondary Education Commission

Ms. Kehalor stated she could be contacted via email at: franciek@packbell.net

Patty O'Ran, Program Manager at the Department of Justice (DOJ), stated that DOJ is experiencing a lot of retirements. Ms. O'Ran further stated that DOJ is still on track to get 1.9 million finger print submissions. She also informed the Committee that DOJ's 30 day process for responding to applicant agencies is doing well and prior to the implementation of the new system a response could take up to 120 days. Ms. O'Ran continued by stating that DOJ is working with BSIS regarding the "FBI rejects". A possible reason for the number of rejections could be the applicant title. DOJ does not need this information to process a background check but the FBI does need the information so DOJ is working to find the best solution for all parties involved.

David Chandler stated that the process time takes to long when people are out of work and Mrs. O'Ran informed Mr. Chandler that most responses go out and come back the same day; however a delay is usually experienced when an applicant has a criminal history.

Steve Reed, MaceRich Company at Arden Fair Mall stated that his company promotes law enforcement and private security partnerships. Mr. Reed further stated that it keeps people secure and teaches guards how to stay within the security guide lines. Mr. Reed informed the Committee that his 3,000 security guards are required to have their guard card.

Mr. Reed stated that since November, just at Arden Fair Mall, they are up 8% to 10% both in retail and traffic. He spoke on the of the use of the license plate reader technology which utilizes inferred cameras that scan license plates at the mall; then accesses the SPD's database to get hits on stolen vehicles. As a result of this technology, Mr. Reed stated that his security team has been able to recover over 500 lost or stolen plates. Mr. Reed concluded his comments by stating that his company has a partnership with Homeland Security; and that they have received over $100,000 in grants from Homeland Security.

John Brueggeman, California Locksmith Association (CLA), stated that CLA is looking to increase the law in the locksmith industry to fight the out of control increase of unlicensed locksmith activity. Mr. Brueggeman informed the Committee that the false listing and misleading ads contained on the internet is costing licensed companies business. SB750, by Senator Hernandez - Vehicles: key information access, the Germany auto manufactures want to block this bill.

Randle Reed, California Locksmith Association (CLA), stated that illegal activity is running wild in this industry, and that the goal of CLA is to promote California licensed locksmiths, compliance with BSIS regulations and to protect local locksmiths from the illegal activity to create a level playing field. Mr. Reed further stated that he looks forward to working with BSIS and promoting CLA's connection with law enforcement. He also stated that CLA wants to make it easier for BSIS to enforce local laws and to make it easier for the locksmith industry to comply; however, much of the industry is driven by emergency and business is done over the internet. Mr. Reed concluded by stating he would like to see BSIS clean up illegal internet activity.

Dennis Sebenick, Small and Medium Security Guard Companies, stated that the BSIS phone system/email system is not updating his company of the status of an applicant's guard card. Mr. Sebenick stated that he would like better communication when it comes to informing companies of the status of an application/registration.

Chief Mason responded by informing Mr. Sebenick that BSIS is not allowed to give status updates by email and that in most cases if an application does not come back under 30 days it is because a criminal history report exists. He further stated that in the case of the existence of a criminal history report, the record would need to be reviewed by BSIS.

Dennis Sebenick states that business is slow. Mr. Mason, states that the best thing to do is use the online registration system. Mr. Sebenick, wants to know how can the company know if a guard card is cancelled? Mr. Mason, states that he will look up the guard card and get back to Mr. Sebenick. (Click the following link) http://www.bsis.ca.gov/forms_pubs/online_services/verify_license.shtml

John Sargent would like a quick clarification; when a company has a License under one name "xyz alarms" and the xyz stands for something, for example: X-ray Yellow Zebra. The License is for XYZ, and their marking says X-ray Yellow Zebra are they violating the License? And they don't have a DBA. Mr. Mason responds, if they don't have a DBA then they should be using the License name in their marketing.

Public Comments Section

Artilla Johnson stated he hosted an award show for security guards in Oakland, CA, and felt that a psychological evaluation of security guards was important. Mr. Johnson said he did not feel that an extra $2 an hour on a security guard's paycheck was enough of a reason for a security guard to become an armed security guard.

Mr. Johnson further commented on the many security guards who have lost their lives on the job and that he would like to see is a memorial for those security guards. Roy Rahn of CALSAGA stated that CALSAGA offers a memorial service and a memorial fund for security guards who have lost their lives on the job.

Adjournment

Jim Diaz thanked everyone for attending and adjourned the meeting at 11:35 pm.