Serving Massachusetts and New Hampshire Including the Merrimack Valley

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Security guards, property owners, and premises liability

Those who take a walk through any sports arena, office building, or entertainment or concert venue in Essex County are likely to see private security guards spread out amongst the crowds. While not typically law enforcement officers, these men and women have been tasked with keeping minor incidents from becoming major problems. Currently, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 20,860 people are employed as security guards in Massachusetts.

Unfortunately, the presence of security guards doesn’t necessarily guarantee that accidents won’t occur. In some cases, these accidents may not even necessarily be due to a shortage of security personnel, but rather the actions of the security guards themselves. In any event, if and when people are injured due to the actions or inactions of security guards, the question becomes who is ultimately responsible: the security guards themselves, or the people who employ them.

The answer often comes down to whether or not the employer or property owner was compliant with the state-mandated guidelines governing the hiring of his or her security guards. If they’re found to have hired unqualified security personnel, then accidents involving those personnel could leave property owners facing premises liability issues.

According the General Laws of Massachusetts, Title XX, Chapter 147, Section 24 as shared by, those seeking licensure to work for either a watch, guard, or patrol agency must file an application with the colonel of the state police with references from at least three others living or working in the area that he or she wishes to work in. Those references must have known the applicant for a minimum of three years, be willing to attest to his or her good moral character, and have reviewed his or her entire licensing application and verified the validity if the claims made within.


55 Ginty Boulevard Haverhill, MA 01830
Phone 978-374-4736, Fax 978-521-5307

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