Bill in Maryland Senate would establish licensing and training standards for security guards
BALTIMORE - Police are reviewing video evidence after a security guard shot a man during a fight this past weekend outside of a Fells Point pizza shop.
The shooting happened before 2:30 a.m. Sunday outside Pie in the Sky Pizza Shop.
Maryland Senator Jill Carter has led the charge of recent police reform in Annapolis.
She told WJZ that those recent incidents involving private security reveal the need for regulation.
"Our security officers are really first responders in many instances and it kind of defies logic we don't have any uniform standard of training," Senator Carter said.
Senate Bill 760 would require all security guard employers to be insured, establish licensing and training standards, and require use of force incidents to be reported.
"It's really past time," Sen. Carter said. "I first introduced this bill about 15 years ago when I was in the House of Delegates, but there was no appetite for it yet."
Sen. Carter points to a July 2021 deadly shooting inside the Reisterstown Plaza Giant grocery store where a security guard shot and killed a man and wounded a woman.
Sunday's incident in Fells Point is just the latest in a handful of recent shootings by security guards.
Blocks away, in October, a Harbor East security guard shot a shoplifter in the face after police said the man pulled out a syringe.
In the weeks that followed, guard Kanisha Spence shot and killed Marquise Powell at a Royal Farms in Carroll Park.
She's now facing first-degree murder charges.
Security guard Keith Luckey is also facing first-degree murder charges.
Luckey, in November, was working security at a Highlandtown bar when he shot and killed Kevin Abel Torres Guerrero, who was out celebrating a club soccer championship.
Evan Avnet, an owner of a security guard company, told WJZ he supports the training requirements testified this month about concerns with the state police certification workload.
"If all of them require this new certification, it's going to create a logjam in licensing," said Avnet, U.S. Tactical American Security Consulting Owner.
Avnet said the bill should differentiate between armed and unarmed security guards.
Carter said the idea is to have all security guards qualify to be armed.
"Because frankly, if you are qualified to be armed, you've had a specific training on firearms as well as a strong background check," Sen. Carter said.
This bill passed the Senate unanimously Friday.
The man shot in Sunday's shooting is stable at a local hospital following surgery.
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