Ellen LeMasters, American Bike Patrol

From the benefits bike patrol has had on law enforcement, all the way down to the positive
environmental values bike patrol puts forth, one may instead ask why not bike patrol? Bike
patrol was first invented in the mid-to-late 1800s, starting with a very heavy iron and wood pedal
bicycle. The bike patrol industry has continued to grow ever since it developed into the modern
diamond frame safety bicycle. Because of the ease that comes along with integrating bike patrol
into a community, bike patrol offers a better way to protect and serve a community in the most
cost-friendly manner.

Did you know that bike patrols result in more than twice as many contacts with the public than
vehicle patrols? The novelty of a police officer on a bike creates an atmosphere where members
of a culturally diverse community can start overcoming any negative perceptions that may have
been placed upon law enforcement from prior encounters with patrol cars. A bicycle patrol
officer has been proven to be more easily approachable than a car patrol officer.

Even more than just their role in community relations, bike patrol units also generate faster
response times than patrol cars due to the mobility and stealth bicycles have to offer, especially
with the introduction of Patrol eBikes. Bike patrol units can fit and maneuver into areas that
patrol cars cannot, such as squeezing into small alleyways, riding right up to the doors of
buildings, and even going down stairwells. They are also way less obvious and easy to point out
than patrol cars, making it harder for criminals to notice them approaching.

Along with their impact on community relations and visibility, bike patrol is drastically more cost
effective and environmentally safe than patrol cars. A fully outfitted bike costs around $1500,
requires no gas, and is lower maintenance, while also providing a significantly lower carbon
intake than patrol cars. Even at an average cost of $2500 per bike, which includes bike training
and bike maintenance, a police or security department can put a team of approximately 15-20
officers on bicycles for the price of one patrol unit. Even further, bike patrol units provide a
physical health benefit for patrol officers who have to stay active during their entire shift as they
are constantly cycling throughout their communities.

At American Bike Patrol Service, we are dedicated to serving law enforcement by covering any
needs when it comes to bike patrol. With over 25 years in the industry, hundreds of officers
trained from police departments, security agencies, military and private corporations, we
continue to utilize the knowledge we have gained from our experiences and years of product
testing in order to ensure that all clients are receiving the finest products and services that align
with their specific budget and needs. We as a company strive to help ensure safety within
communities by offering law enforcement and security with the best bike patrol services they
can receive.


“SIT DOWN AND BE COUNTED!” – Court Reiterates Duty To Provide Suitable Seating

Barry A. Bradley, Esq., Managing Partner, Bradley, Gmelich + Wellerstein, CALSAGA Legal Advisor

In California, an employee is entitled to use a seat while working if the nature of the work reasonably permits the use of a seat. An employer is required, in that circumstance, to provide the employee with a suitable seat.  

In the recently decided case of Meda vs. AutoZone, Inc., et. al. (7/19/2022), the California Court of Appeal reversed summary judgment in favor of the employer and sent the case back to the trial court level for trial on the issue of whether the employer “provided” suitable seating.  Although this case takes place in a retail store setting, the same rules apply to the security industry.


Plaintiff and appellant Monica Meda (plaintiff) worked as a sales associate for about six months at an AutoZone auto parts store (store) operated by defendant and respondent AutoZoners, a Limited Liability Company (AutoZoners). After she resigned from her position, plaintiff filed a lawsuit alleging one claim under the California Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act of 2004 (Lab. Code, § 2699 et seq.) (PAGA). She asserted that AutoZoners failed to provide suitable seating to employees at the cashier and parts counter workstations, and that some or all of the required work could be performed while sitting.

About 40% of plaintiff’s duties were performed at the cashier’s station, another 40% at the parts counter, and the remainder around the floor.  Plaintiff asserted that her time at the cashier’s station could have been performed while seated on a stool, and about half of her work at the parts counter could, likewise, have been performed while seated.  

California Wage Orders:

As a refresher, the court stated that “’wage and hour claims are today governed by two complementary and occasionally overlapping sources of authority: the provisions of the Labor Code, enacted by the Legislature, and a series of 18 wage orders, adopted by the [Industrial Welfare Commission (IWC)].” [Citation.] The IWC, a state agency, was empowered to issue wage orders, which are legislative regulations specifying minimum requirements with respect to wages, hours, and working conditions.’ ” [citations omitted.]

Although this case addresses wage order No. 7, the identical requirement is listed in Wage Order No. 4, applicable to security guards.  Specifically, it states:

“14. SEATS 

(A) All working employees shall be provided with suitable seats when the nature of the work reasonably permits the use of seats. 

(B) When employees are not engaged in the active duties of their employment and the nature of the work requires standing, an adequate number of suitable seats shall be placed in reasonable proximity to the work area and employees shall be permitted to use such seats when it does not interfere with the performance of their duties.”

AutoZoners claimed that it satisfied the Wage Order requirement by providing two stools by the manager’s office, located around the corner (and out of sight) from the parts counter and the cashier stations.  Unfortunately, it did not provide any seating at these workstations nor did it advise any of the employees that they had a right to carry the stools to their workstations.  The court pointed out that even if the employees used the two stools, there were five to nine employees working at any given time, so there would have been a shortage if more than two wanted to use them at once.

Totality of the Job Duties:

Although the court did not focus on the issue as to whether an employer has an obligation to place a seat at every location (such as in an office setting where desks are located), it did provide some guidance. Citing to a Supreme Court decision, the court restated:  

“[W]hen evaluating whether the ‘nature of the work reasonably permits the use of seats,’ courts must examine subsets of an employee’s total tasks and duties by location, such as those performed at a cash register or a teller window, and consider whether it is feasible for an employee to perform each set of location-specific tasks while seated. Courts should look to the actual tasks performed, or reasonably expected to be performed, not to abstract characterizations, job titles, or descriptions that may or may not reflect the actual work performed. Tasks performed with more frequency or for a longer duration would be more germane to the seating inquiry than tasks performed briefly or infrequently.” (Kilby, supra, 63 Cal.4th at p. 18, 201 Cal.Rptr.3d 1, 368 P.3d 554.)


In reversing the summary judgment (which would have ended the case in favor of AutoZoners without the need for a trial), the court held:

“We conclude that where an employer has not expressly advised its employees that they may use a seat during their work and has not provided a seat at a workstation, the inquiry as to whether an employer has “provided” suitable seating may be fact-intensive and may involve a multitude of job-and workplace-specific factors.”

Lessons Learned For Security Employers:

In order to try to avoid PAGA or class action lawsuits based on suitable seating claims, employers should remember that each security post and assignment will be different and should be evaluated separately. Your employee handbook should make it clear that seats are available where the nature of the work would allow for their use. Employers should make the seats available where appropriate and notify employees of the same. This would satisfy the “providing suitable seating” requirement of the Wage Order according to this court. You can accomplish this analysis by incorporating suitable seating as part of your Post Site Survey performed at each of your accounts. 

Barry A. Bradley is the Managing Partner of Bradley, Gmelich & Wellerstein LLP located in Glendale, California, where he oversees the Employment and Business Teams at the firm.  A former Deputy District Attorney, Barry’s practice concentrates on representing business owners in employment, business and licensing issues, as well as defending litigated cases involving negligent security, employment and business related issues.  The firm acts as general counsel for many security companies in California.  Barry is a volunteer Legal Advisor to the California Association of Licensed Agencies, Guards, & Associates (CALSAGA), and multiple other non-profits.  

He has been conferred an AV-Preeminent Peer Rating by Martindale Hubbell, the highest rating attainable, and has been named a Southern California Super Lawyer for the past 16 consecutive years in the area of Business Litigation. Barry can be reached at / 818-243-5200.

About Bradley, Gmelich & Wellerstein LLP

Founded in 2000, Bradley, Gmelich & Wellerstein, LLP is dedicated to providing sound advice and exceptional results for our clients. Our twenty-five plus skilled, dedicated and diverse attorneys represent individuals and businesses of all sizes in a wide variety of business, employment law and litigation matters.


Tony Unfried, CSA360

As companies grow or become acquired, they tend to change; whether it’s an increase in price, a  decrease in customer service, or both. It’s important to be aware of these changes because it affects  the quality of service you receive. As you navigate your relationships with trusted partners, we’ve found  some best practices that can help you assess whether your needs are being met: 

The company you choose provides consistent outstanding client services. This is the most important  asset a partner can provide. Do your users have access to knowledge base articles? Do their support  tickets get fast and efficient responses? Your team should be able to ask questions and be provided with  high-quality answers. 

Does the company know your business goals? Is your trusted partner checking in quarterly to connect  with stakeholders to learn how they can support your growth? Do they know exactly what tools you will  need further down the pipeline? Maintaining clear communication is key so your partner can launch  new services the moment your team is ready. 

They supply hands-on training. Being able to work through real time scenarios with a highly trained  implementation specialist can make all the difference in your onboarding experience. Being able to learn  the software by doing is the best way to retain training. In addition, it’s important to have a key team  member to hold that knowledge to train new staff and manage any turnover that may occur. 

Along with training through real time scenarios, having homework scenarios prior to the next training  can be equally as helpful. It provides a challenge to learning the software and allows the trainers to see  what needs more focus and if trainees are truly retaining the information.  

Leadership in innovation. In this competitive market, companies grow by staying innovative.  Introducing new features and benefits can help improve the status quo. Receiving these  communications via newsletter or email can give you access to new features, often without any  additional cost. 

Company transparency is everything. Is your partner following through with promises made to their  client base, to the employees, and to their product? As some companies grow, their transparency can  become opaque. They focus less on the quality of what they provide and more on the quantity of who  they can provide too. 

The security landscape is constantly changing with new challenges to be met. It’s now more important  than ever to vet your choices. Plan a meeting with potential partners to find out what they’re about and  be ready to make the switch if they can’t provide these key aspects. You want to choose someone who  can provide you with unwavering customer support- a White Glove Partnership. 

Tony Unfried, CEO of CSA360, holds a master’s degree in Public Affairs and Criminal Justice from Indiana University, where he graduated with honors. While enrolled in his master’s program, Tony worked for The TJX Companies, Inc., leading the region in loss prevention and moving the company toward technology use in Security. Tony went on to join the most significant security company in Indiana, managing more than 500 employees and 50 sites, including the Indiana Convention Center, Bankers Life Fieldhouse, and Ruoff Home Mortgage Music Center. Seeing a noticeable gap in technology use in the physical security sector, Tony created his first security software application, launched at the Super Bowl in 2012, and recognized twice for Excellence in Mobile Technology by Techpoint. Tony has also spoken on Tech in Physical Security on panels with ASIS and IAVM.


Simplifying paperwork, avoiding liability, and more best practices for today’s hiring climate.

Nina “Nine” De Forge, Agency Relations Manager, TEAM Software by WorkWave

Between employment contracts, payroll and benefits forms, handbooks and standard operating procedure information, and emergency contact forms (to name a few), the onboarding process of a newly hired officer can be time consuming. Add into the mix the ongoing challenges of hidden turnover, where new hires leave during or soon after onboarding (or, never report for their first day of training), and your HR teams are bound to feel like they’re climbing an uphill battle.

The good news is there are some best practices your team can put in place to ease the process.

1. Simplify paperwork. Much like asking too many unnecessary questions during the hiring process can deter job candidates in a tight labor market, the sheer volume of onboarding paperwork can overwhelm your new hires. If you’re still collecting onboarding documentation manually, with managers collecting physical copies of documents in the field or via unsecured email processes, you’re well aware of just how hard it can be to finalize an employee’s paperwork prior to importing into their employee master file.

Automating onboarding processes speeds up the process, and reduces the number of errors that can occur during otherwise manual documentation and processing. (Plus, it gives you the option to securely store documentation digitally, so you don’t have to maintain countless filing cabinets.)

2. Use the most updated, necessary intake forms. Reducing the amount of paperwork your team needs to collect isn’t always an option, as certain documents are required by the government or corporate policies.

For example, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently modified several standard forms to fully implement a nonbinary ‘X’ gender marker in addition to male and female indicators and an ‘Mx’ in the selection of prefixes. This change was made to help support nonbinary employees in the workplace. These forms are typically required of businesses with 100 or more employees (or federal contractors with at least 50 employees). Look for updates in your software solution to help support this change and decrease your company’s risk of liability. (For example, TEAM Software is already working on a user interface that will support the nonbinary gender marker in this format.)

3. Don’t forget about making onboarding easy on both sides. At TEAM’s recent annual client conference, a client said this, and it bears repeating: 

“Onboarding should be quick and easy. It has to be easy for the employee, so you can get them on the job and on the path towards retention, faster. But, it also has to be easy on the company.” 

Onboarding is an inherently complex task, with moving parts that involve not only HR, but finance, IT, operations and more. Add in typical security industry employee turnover percentages and amplified repercussions still being felt by the labor market, and this could very easily be a recipe for burnout. By establishing clear, concise processes, taking advantage of self-service options when you can, and leaning into automation, the administrative side of onboarding will reap the benefits of a streamlined workflow.

Nina De Forge joined the team in 2017 and is the Agency Relations Manager. Nina, also known as “9,” has been working with human resources, payroll and tax compliance since the 1980s and has a broad range of experience across each discipline. She is an active member of many industry organizations, including the IRS Information Reporting Advisory Committee and its Nationwide E-Filer’s National Focus Group, the Canadian Payroll Association, the Society for Human Resource Management and the International Association for Human Resource Information Management. She is a published author in the book American Payroll Association Basic Guide to Payroll. Outside of her career work, Nina is a hobby photographer.



Plus: Things to keep in mind when dealing with overtime during a labor shortage.

Gail Tutt, TEAM Software by WorkWave

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: the best way to reduce overtime is to stop it before it starts. It’s a little cliché, especially when overtime (and, unfortunately, non-billable overtime) is an inherent part of the security industry. Still, there are several tactics you can use to get a handle on overtime and manage labor costs. 

1. Know your service-level agreements. This doesn’t just mean at the executive level. Because SLAs dictate the service standards and pricing obligations you’re required to deliver to your customers, it’s imperative that any employee who is involved in managing your company’s scheduling is well versed in bill and pay rates by contract. By ensuring understanding in all scheduling roles, you can prevent costly mistakes (like wage creep, which can occur in a variety of scenarios, but especially when officers are scheduled for overtime shifts outside of the scope of what’s budgeted per job.) 

By knowing your SLAs inside and out, your company is also setting up the foundation for best practices in job costing. With industry-specific software solutions to assist in the heavy lifting of tracking and analyzing job performance, you can see at a glance which jobs are lending themselves to your profit margins, and which are under performing.

2. Don’t forget about compliance. In some cases, there’s no way around scheduling overtime without compromising your compliance with state and federal labor law regulations and overtime rules. In our industry, there are compliance risks posed from misclassification, recordkeeping and other hour and wage-related activities that can turn your timekeeping and overtime tracking into a headache. Earlier this year, even, this entity reported a wage settlement (with waiting time penalties) due to an upheld ruling alleging an employer failed to include meal period premiums on wage statements. A different case in 2021 found the California Supreme Court upholding that employers are required to pay meal and rest break violation premiums at the same rate as when paying overtime. Translation: these costs add up quickly.

While many integrated workforce management solutions don’t track compliance for you, they do provide tools to more easily prove compliance. Look for feature sets which include things like time and attendance (including punch times), scheduling, regulation monitoring and reporting to gain well-rounded visibility into your compliance.  

3. Become friends with your data. This point is straightforward: dig into your data early on in your scheduling process. In available TEAM solutions, we recommend including criteria like parameter searches for available guards that fit within the bill rate specified per job. That way, your schedulers will only be able to assign officers to shifts whose rate fits the given budget (see our first point).

Often, we find companies can implement at least one of these tips to help prevent and improve overtime. But we also recognize that the current labor market throws a new wrench into the mix. When it’s hard to find officers to fill shifts in general, of course it becomes more likely for regular shifts to turn into overtime to stay on top of SLAs. While there’s no easy answer, it’s possible resolving this particular overtime challenge can be addressed by refocusing on retention.

Start by taking a few steps back to analyze what your voluntary separations look like. Are officers leaving for higher hourly rates or benefits? Or are they leaving for more flexibility in their schedules? Maybe they’re pivoting careers into adjacent industries or taking even bigger leaps into entirely new verticals. The common theme of all these scenarios is that it is likely not a separation on bad terms. This could be an opportunity to think outside the box in the form of a self-scheduling program. This way, employees stay in your employee management system (as part-time or ad hoc employees) and can pick up shifts based on when they want to work (even if they are employed elsewhere). While it may not work for everyone, it is an interesting tactic to reduce overtime needs while increasing employee retention.

It’s hard to theorize if there will ever be a world without overtime in some capacity. But, there are steps you can take to improve this metric now. See how at

Gail has spent over 35 years in the private sector as a senior level finance and operations manager across multiple industry. Most recently CFO of a regional security company in San Jose, CA, Gail now works providing invaluable insight and expertise as a business consultant with TEAM Software.  Her hobbies include breeding and showing standard wirehair dachshunds, hiking and spending time with her family.


Shaun Kelly, Tolman & Wiker, CALSAGA Preferred Broker

Hope all is well with everyone.

In my last article, we discussed why Workers Compensation auditors are requesting more information than they have in previous years. This is due to the passing of Assembly Bill 5 (AB-5), which redefines the guidelines of whether a worker is an independent contractor or not (The ABC test). Auditors are requesting additional financial information to determine if employers are using independent contractors.

In this article, we are providing information on what is included and/or excluded in determining your premium in a Workers Compensation audit. This will include information regarding some of the following:

  • Sick pay
  • Vacation Pay
  • Bonuses
  • Attendance at conferences
  • Automobile allowance
  • Employee benefits
  • Commuter compensation
  • Meals
  • On Call/Stand By pay
  • Uniform allowance
  • More

Please see the attached Payroll/Remuneration Table from the California Workers Compensation Uniform Statistical Rating Plan (Also known as the USRP).

The USRP is updated and approved by the California Insurance Commissioner periodically. You can find the complete USRP on the Workers Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau (WCIRB) website at under Filings and Plans.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

Take care and see you all at the CALSAGA Annual Conference.

Shaun Kelly joined Tolman & Wiker Insurance Services in 2005.  He specializes in all lines of property and casualty insurance for industries including contract security firms, agriculture, construction, oil and gas. Shaun received a BS in Business Administration with a major in Finance from California State University in Fresno, California. He is an active member of several industry associations, including the Association CALSAGA, the Kern County Builders Exchange and the Independent Insurance Agents of Kern County. Shaun can be reached at 661-616-4700 or


Tory Brownyard, Brownyard Group

In California gas prices have risen above five dollars a gallon. Food banks are experiencing extraordinary demand. Mortgage rates, housing prices, residential rent and even home repair and replacement costs are soaring. For many Americans, this historic rate of inflation has become real, unprecedented and problematic. As consumers feel the brunt of inflation, its impact also spans various industries throughout the U.S. For the private security insurance industry, the market continues to harden, due to both inflation and other factors.  

While a major contributor, however, inflation is just one factor making it more challenging for security firms to secure the insurance they need to mitigate their risk exposure, and of course, meet required insurance obligations featured in every service contract.

Extreme Loss and a Rise in Crime

Inflation aside, many insurance carriers assess the risk and associated cost of premiums based on the history of loss in the industry as well as the individual organization’s claims history and operational practices.

One tragic example of an operational impact includes the May 2022 Securitas Security Services $517.5 million settlement paid to the victims of the June 24, 2021 partial collapse of Champlain Towers in Miami. Among the determining factors for Securitas paying nearly half of the more than $1 billion settlement included the failure of the security guard on duty in activating the building’s alarm system to signal an emergency evacuation. In a deposition, the company’s manager acknowledged a lack of training contributed to the system not being used despite the guard on duty calling 911 approximately 10 minutes before the structure failed, killing 98 people. 

Multi-million-dollar settlements like that of Securitas will have major ripple effects across the security industry for years to come.

Other examples include the recent spike in active shooter situations, including the devastating incident in Uvalde, TX and the Fourth of July shooting in Highland Park, IL. In addition to the tragic loss of life, more than 300 mass shootings have occurred by the mid-point of the year, putting 2022 on track to meet or surpass the record 700 shootings in 2021 or the previous record of 611 shootings in 2020. In many, but not all such mass shooting incidents, private security firms face the public’s wrath, legal inquiries and countless lawsuits. The resulting litigation often produces what many term nuclear verdicts handed down by the courts, loosely defined as exceptionally high jury awards that exceed what most would consider reasonable.

Large jury awards against security firms can often be traced back to failures in training, client screening, contract language and communication. So, while inflation is certainly a factor, there are other circumstances within the control of the industry itself to limit its own risk and exposure.

Managing Risk

Steps security firms can take to reduce their exposure and slow or mitigate the rise in their premiums include:

  •         Carefully selecting clients: As the shootings in Uvalde, Buffalo, Highland Park and Biloxi — among others — have taught us, active shooter or violent situations can occur anywhere, among anyone at any time. However, when it comes to underwriting the security industry, insurers will often look closely at the types of clients the firm takes on. Those who take on high-risk clients, those with more public exposure such as bars and nightclubs, shopping malls and sport or concert venues, will often give insurers pause. If an insurer does cover a security firm with such clients, the premium is sure to be much higher than those who take on low-risk clients. Low-risk clients are those with less public exposure, including warehouses, office buildings and industrial type clients.
  •         Mitigating liability: To minimize risks, a security firm should always speak with their insurance partner before taking on a new contract. The insurance partner can help advise on what to avoid and can ensure proper coverage is obtained to best meet the firm’s needs and client types. Firms should also consider their policy limits when taking on new clients and make necessary adjustments in consultation with their agent or broker. High-risk clients can often demand higher limits of liability, and excess and umbrella policies can provide needed coverage beyond the scope of the original policy.
  •         Reading the fine print: Security firms should also consider contractual language carefully before taking on new clients. Ensuring their guards are only liable for their own negligence and wrong doing is critical. Also, it is recommended that clear and concise expectations for all parties are written into the contract. This can help avoid costly lawsuits and needless blame.
  •         Prioritizing training and communication: California state law requires 32 hours of training to acquire a security license, and eight hours of training each subsequent year to maintain the license. While this training provides guards with the tools and knowledge to perform their duties to industry standards, additional training for de-escalation, the dangers of restraints, active shooter or other situations is also recommended. Regularly revisiting and updating such training is vitally important. However, even the best training can fall short in an emergency. Clear communication protocols for security guards to seek and receive updated instructions can make the difference between managing a crisis or facing unfortunate and avoidable consequences. When all else fails, security guards should be able to rely on universally understood and transparent orders and expectations established within the signed contract.

Staffing and resource limitations among local law enforcement along with rising crime in certain localities will continue to drive the need for more private security by event and property managers, among others. Increased demand, paired with higher risk security situations, directly affects the rise in insurance premiums for private security firms. This rise of risk and premiums will continue to contribute to insurers being much more selective in the types of security firms they are willing to cover. Working with their insurance agents and brokers, security firm leaders can play an active role in minimizing their risk to avoid major losses and secure reasonable coverage to allow them to keep both their clients and their businesses safe.

Tory Brownyard, CPCU, is president of Brownyard Group, an insurance program administrator with specialty programs for select industry groups. In addition to his responsibilities as president, he currently spearheads the Brownguard® security guard insurance program.


Barry A. Bradley, Esq., Managing Partner, Bradley, Gmelich + Wellerstein, CALSAGA Legal Advisor

So, you received a letter from the Bureau of Security and Investigative Services advising that they will be conducting “a routine inspection” of your documents.  It should take no more than two hours (on the average) and the meeting should include the owner(s), executive principals and/or possibly administrative staff “to assess and discuss key aspects of your daily operations” as a PPO.

ALARMS should be going off for you!  There is nothing routine about this. Compliance audits are increasing and you should expect one this year.  In every instance where our clients have contacted us, they have been out of compliance – some just a little, others a lot.  This, despite their best intentions.  

The opportunity to fix your records before you are audited could mean the difference between no citation at all, versus an administrative fine, a cease and desist order, and potential suspension or revocation of your PPO license.  This all becomes very public, too. Make no mistake about it: BSIS is here to regulate, not to collaborate.

Areas Of Concern

As a PPO licensee, you have obligations that will require you to address various areas.  What follows are some of the broad categories that will be inspected.

PPO Records, Vehicles and Uniforms:

  • Are your PPO license and all branch licenses properly displayed.
  • Are your records kept at your principle place of business – as recorded with the Bureau?
  • Are your current badges and patches in conformity with the original BSIS approval?
  • Are your current badges, patches and insignias in compliance with the Private Security Services Act?
  • Are your Certificates of Insurance for both workers compensation and for General Liability in compliance with Business & Professions Code 7583.39 as well as the California Code of Regulations?  
  • Do your advertisements display your PPO number? This might include websites, social media, vehicles, business cards and brochures.
  • Is your business structure in compliance with statutes?
  • Do your business records match the Secretary of State records, as well as BSIS records?
  • Are your patrol vehicles in compliance with the Vehicle Code and the B&P Code regarding their light bars and decals?
  • Are your uniforms in compliance with Business & Professions Code section 7582.26?

Employee Records:

  • Do you maintain the name, address, commencing date of employment, position, and date of termination of each employee in compliance with the Code?
  • Do you maintain current guard card and firearm qualification permit information?
  • Personnel Files: do they contain guard card information, training, and required certifications? (This may include pepper spray and baton permits, as well.)
  • Do you have proper credentials for your off-duty Peace Officers, including a letter from their agency?


  • Do you maintain the required log for all deadly weapons used on duty, including firearms and batons, in compliance with the Code of Regulations? 

Training Certificates and Records :

  • Do you have Certificates of Completion for each course or series of courses for each and every security guard?
  • Do your Certificates contain the required language and information?
  • Do you maintain proof of completion for the Powers to Arrest training for all security guards.
  • Do you have a certificate of proficiency from a licensed training facility for all of your armed officers?
  • Do you maintain proof of completion of the 32 hours of security guard skills training for all guards. (16 in 30 days / 16 in 6 months) and continuing annual training (8 hours)?

RECOMMENDATION: This list is by no means exhaustive.  We recommend a quick legal review well before your audit date.  There will always be blind spots – some significant and some minor.  Our goal, and yours, should be to become compliant (and hopefully before your “routine inspection” by the Bureau).


Barry A. Bradley is the Managing Partner of Bradley, Gmelich & Wellerstein LLP located in Glendale, California, where he oversees the Employment and Business Teams at the firm.  A former Deputy District Attorney, Barry’s practice concentrates on representing business owners in employment, business and licensing issues, as well as defending litigated cases involving negligent security, employment and business related issues.  The firm acts as general counsel for many security companies in California.  Barry is a volunteer Legal Advisor to the California Association of Licensed Agencies, Guards, & Associates (CALSAGA), and multiple other non-profits.  

He has been conferred an AV-Preeminent Peer Rating by Martindale Hubbell, the highest rating attainable, and has been named a Southern California Super Lawyer for the past 16 consecutive years in the area of Business Litigation. Barry can be reached at / 818-243-5200.

About Bradley, Gmelich & Wellerstein LLP

Founded in 2000, Bradley, Gmelich & Wellerstein, LLP is dedicated to providing sound advice and exceptional results for our clients. Our twenty-five plus skilled, dedicated and diverse attorneys represent individuals and businesses of all sizes in a wide variety of business, employment law and litigation matters.


Debbie Trecek Volkens, TEAM Software, CALSAGA Network Partner

Lowest bid technically acceptable is a painful part of the industry we work in. It’s why, sometimes, strategic initiatives to become more efficient fall to the back burner: initial investments in time and resources can seem like an unnecessary burden when you’re struggling to fill shifts and keep operating expenses within budget. 

The catch twenty-two about a back-burner approach, though, is that you cannot lower your costs and grow your profit without taking that first step towards efficiency. One tactic you can use to kickstart the process is to look at your business proposals and highlight where an efficiency-driving solution can bring direct value to your clients. Look at these five key areas of need your prospective clients are asking for and add information to your bids to strengthen your proposals. 

Qualified Guards On Site. 

Your clients are ensuring guards with the right qualifications are filling the needs of their contracts in order to create the safest and most secure environment possible. Demonstrate how you record and track certifications of officers, and send notifications when certifications are due to be updated. 

Reduced Liability And Risk. 

Incidents and risk open your clients up to liability and lawsuits. Demonstrate how you help shoulder that responsibility of welfare by monitoring where and when an officer is onsite (and how you have evidence via location tracking technology, checkpoint documentation or rich media like photos and video to back up your claims). Be prepared to offer daily shift reports to provide visibility and quality assurance, and showcase your safety procedures and automated communication flows so you can keep your clients aware of an unfolding incident and resolution status. 

Communication, Response Times And Customer Service. 

If there is an incident on site, your client needs it to be resolved appropriately and quickly. You should be able to send quick messages (like texts, emails or phone calls) securely to individual officers, or to larger patrol teams. Emergency communication automations can be leveraged to support your resolution practices and bring examples of reporting materials (like activity logs, incident reports and inspections). Ask questions about what your prospective client’s current procedure looks like and show them how reporting tools can be configured to their specifications. 

Reputation And Proof Of Service. 

You know software can’t complete physical security tasks for you, but it can improve the quality and consistency of the work you already provide. It can eliminate fraudulent timekeeping practices (like buddy punching) and ensure billable work is transparent and accurate. It can record your scope of work and identify areas of improvement. It can improve scheduling and reduce overtime (billable and non-billable). And, it proves it’s delivering in all of these areas through reporting and analytics tools as an asset to support your company’s reputation. 

Cost-Effective Services. 

It’s likely your clients don’t care what tools you’re using to get the job done. But, showcasing the value software brings to these areas can strengthen the value your company brings to your bidding proposal. Your data working together in one system helps drive efficiencies to your bottom line, meaning you can more competitively bid contracts. Then, you can pass that on to your customers, who win by gaining the best quality of service at the best price. 

When it’s clear the value outweighs the costs, you’ll have strengthened your competitive position and achieved an advantage.


Debbie joined TEAM in 2020 and works as a content marketing specialist. Her goal is to connect the dots between industry needs and product solutions through engaging, educational and valuable content. Debbie holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing and management from Peru State College, where she graduated summa cum laude.


Anne Laguzza, The Works Consulting, Network Partner

As a California business owner, you may have jumped for joy at the start of the year when you realized there were significantly fewer changes to employment legislation than in previous years. If you’re with the majority, you probably did a quick update to your policies and procedures, and then filed them away until next year. 

Just as I did with my clients, I’d like to encourage you to use this unusual gift to your advantage. It’s time for a bit of spring cleaning! Remember, legal compliance is only one part of your human resources practice. Fewer new laws means more breathing room for California employers and, therefore, the ability to more clearly look at the other aspects of your business that may need to undergo some optimization. 

That’s where an HR audit comes in to play.

The security industry—like many other industries today—is grappling with maintaining a strong and consistent workforce. As such, there is absolutely no better time to conduct a comprehensive HR audit to bolster your competitive advantage while doing a bit of risk mitigation that will help you down the road. With new jobs popping up regularly, your human resources practices are operating at a rapid pace that may result in errors and, potentially, legal consequences. It’s important to take the opportunity now to make sure that you’re set up to do the right thing, every time.

If you’ve never conducted this kind of audit, or it’s been awhile since you last did, here’s my guide to making sure it helps your business for years to come.

What is an HR Audit?

Let’s start with the basics—an HR audit takes a formal inventory of your company’s practices from hiring to termination of employment. This includes reviewing and optimizing any outdated or ineffective processes, procedures or company policies. The intent of an HR audit is not necessarily to determine what you are doing wrong, but instead, to understand what is going well and could be even better. 

An HR audit is meant to serve as the first step in aligning human resources operations with the strategic goals of your organization.

When was the last time you reviewed your organization’s wage statement? New hire forms? Leave of absence process? Job classifications? Benefits packages?

Everything that governs your employees fits under the umbrella of what can and should be included in an HR audit.

Who should be conducting my HR audit?

If you have an HR department or dedicated HR professional, it’s important that someone outside of your HR team lead and oversee the process. This ensures that organizations maintain checks and balances with an objective, second set of eyes managing the audit process. This can be someone from a different department within your organization who has the knowledge and experience to review the details.

For organizations that don’t have the internal support required to keep the process objective, an external HR consultant can be a great candidate to help facilitate the audit. Most importantly, this person should deeply understand your industry and the unique challenges that you face every day. Furthermore, there’s a lot to know about conducting a well-functioning business in California specifically, so an HR consultant ingrained in the region is going to be your best bet.

What are the main components of an HR audit?

A successful HR audit will take into thoughtful consideration the distinctive aspects of the company and its practices. However, there are some common threads that will benefit any organization. Fundamentally, an HR audit will consider:

  • How are people coming into the company? 
  • How are people operating within the company? 
  • How are people leaving the company?

For the security industry, in particular, I recommend my clients take a close look at the following aspects of their HR practices:

  1. Talent Acquisition and Orientation – This should encompass your recruiting, hiring and new hire training processes, including employment applications as well as interviewing and selection protocols.
  2. Compensation and Benefits Administration – This portion of your audit will review everything from job classifications to rest and meal periods, cell phone allowances and leaves of absence.
  3. Training and Development – For the security industry, this is a significant component of any HR audit, including a review of required training, both for armed and unarmed officers.
  4. Communication and Employee Retention – This will include a review of any employee recognition programs as well as protocols for performance feedback and methods of maintaining company culture.
  5. Document Review – Any HR audit should take into consideration the company’s existing employee paperwork, updating any items that are outdated or inconsistent with the company’s current practices.
  6. Employee Files – As an offshoot of document review, I also recommend that companies review a sampling of their employee files (electronic or paper) to ensure that they are organized, up-to-date and that information is easily accessible.
  7. Termination of Employment – This includes a review of the processes surrounding termination of employment to ensure that the company is in compliance with current final paycheck requirements and protocols for offboarding an employee.

For the majority of employers, I recommend that the HR audit process start with a thorough review of the current version of the company’s Employee Handbook. The Employee Handbook is an important document to keep current and ensure that your practices match your policies. This is always a good baseline to determine if anything is missing, incomplete or in need of improvement.

With all of these tips in mind, you’re ready to go forth and conquer your company’s 2022 HR Audit!


Anne Laguzza is the CEO of The Works Consulting, a CALSAGA Network Partner. As a seasoned business executive with human resources management, leadership development, and performance coaching experience, Anne works with clients from a variety of industries to develop better systems, maximize employee productivity, and enable management to focus on business growth. For more information, check out or email You can also find Anne on Instagram and LinkedIn.