New Mexico: Armed Security Officers

Legislation and Details for New Mexico

Legislation/Source:

New Mexico Statutes
Chapter 61 – Professional and Occupational Licenses
Article 27B – Private Investigations Act
and
New Mexico Administrative Code
Title 16 – Occupational and Professional Licensing
Chapter 48 – Private Law Enforcement Practitioners

Alerts / Recent Developments

New:  On February 8, 2022, new rules went into effect that extend the licensure period for initial applicants from two years to three years. In addition, for those already licensed and renewing, all license numbers ending in an even number will renew for a final two year term with a prorated fee and those with license numbers ending in an odd number will renew for three years.

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1. FEES:   The fees were changed to align with the three year licensure cycle. The new fees are as follows:

Initial applications:

Private Patrol Operations Company – No Fee Required

Private Patrol Operator – $550.00

Private Patrol Operations Manager – $400.00

Security Guard Level Three – $150.00

Renewal applications for license numbers ending in an even number:

Private Patrol Operations Company – No Fee Required

Private Patrol Operator – $300.00

Private Patrol Operations Manager – $200.00

Security Guard Level Three – $75.00

Renewal applications for license numbers ending in an odd number:

Private Patrol Operations Company – No Fee Required

Private Patrol Operator – $450.00

Private Patrol Operations Manager – $300.00

Security Guard Level Three – $150.00

2.   Continuing education requirements have also changed to reflect the three year licensure cycle.  Two hours of continuing education credits per year are required for Private Patrol Operators and Security Guards.

3.   Background check requirements for renewals were changed. Only licensees/registrants that carry firearms must complete the background check upon renewal. All initial applicants must still complete the federal background check.

Authorizing Department

New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department

Private Investigations Advisory Board


2550 Cerrillos Road

PO Box 25101
Santa Fe, NM 87505

Official Website

Licensure and License Fees

In New Mexico, individual Security Guards are employees of a private patrol manager or private patrol company, and must be registered with the department.

According to New Mexico Statutes §61-27B-15. Security guard; levels of registration
A.   A security guard shall be registered at one of the three levels enumerated in this section that are based on experience, age and other qualifications of the registrant:
(1)   Level one is the entry level registration for security guards who will be working in a position not requiring the registrant to carry arms;
(2)   Level two is the intermediate level registration for security guards who are required to be armed but not with firearms; and
(3)   Level three is the advanced level registration for security guards who may be required to be armed with a firearm.

An individual seeking registration as a level three armed security guard must meet the requirements to be granted registration as a level two security guard an maintains in good standing a current registration as a level two security guard.
See: NM Stat §61-27B-18(B)(2)

The applicant must be employed by a private patrol company under the direct supervision of a licensed private patrol operator, another level three security guard or a private patrol operations manager.
See: NM Stat §61-27B-18(B)(7)

A level three security guard or a private patrol operations employee may carry a firearm upon successful completion of the mandatory firearm training required by rules of the department.
See: NM Stat §61-27B-31

Fees for Level Three 
$150.00 for Level Three registration.  Renewal fees:  $75 for even number renewals and $150 for odd number renewals.

See: FAQs
See: Security Guard Application Form (all levels)
See:Private Investigations Advisory Board Rule Book

Special Event Security Personnel
New Mexico allows the temporary use of unlicensed New Mexico security personnel for certain “Special Events.”
The Rules are clear that the grant is temporary, for a narrow purpose and for out of state personnel only. The Rules states in part:

61-27B-19.
Special event permit; nonresident security guard procedure; qualifications; prohibited:

A. A private patrol company employing a nonresident security guard temporarily for a special event shall apply to the department for
and may be issued a special event permit for each nonresident security guard qualified to be employed at the special event.
B. A special event permit is issued for a specific nonresident security guard and a specific special event and shall not
be transferred to another security guard or used for a special event other than for the special event for which the permit is issued.

Foreign Jurisdiction Licensure

New Mexico regulatory authorities have the discretion to enter into “Reciprocity Agreements” regarding licensure for security companies and personnel.
Reciprocity recognizes the out of state licensure process as long as the other state’s requirements. The Rules hold:

61-27B-33.
C. The department may develop rules that allow for reciprocity on a temporary or limited basis without requiring an applicant licensed
or registered in another state subject to a reciprocity agreement to be licensed or registered in New Mexico; provided that the
state of licensure or registration:
(1) has licensure or registration requirements that meet or exceed those of New Mexico;
(2) has no record of disciplinary action taken against the applicant in the last year; and
(3) can verify that the applicant has engaged in activities for at least one year in the state with reciprocity that
are required to be licensed or registered pursuant to the Private Investigations Act.

Age Requirements

NM Stat § 61-27B-18(B)(1)
The applicant must be at least 21 years of age

Citizenship

NMCA § 16.48.2.22(A)
Must be a U.S. citizen

Experience

61-27B-18. Security guard; level three; registration; requirements
B.    The department shall issue a registration for a level three security guard to an individual who files a completed application accompanied by the required fees and who submits satisfactory evidence that the applicant: 

    (7)    is employed by a private patrol company under the direct supervision of a licensed private patrol operator, another level three security guard or a private patrol operations manager; 

The applicant must meet the requirements to be granted registration as a level two security guard an maintains in good standing a current registration as a level two security guard.
See: NM Stat §61-27B-18(B)(2)

The applicant must possess a high school diploma or its equivalent.
See: NM Stat § 61-27B-18(B)(4)

Exemptions

NM Stat § § 61-27B-4(B). Persons exempted
B.   Investigations Act does not apply to:  

(1)     an individual employed exclusively and regularly by one employer in connection with the affairs of that employer, provided that the individual patrols or provides security only on the premises of the employer as limited by the employer.
 
(2)    an individual employed exclusively to provide temporary security at a private event that is not open to the public.
 
(3)    individuals providing temporary security at athletic or other youth events and where the events occur under the auspices of a public or private school or a nonprofit organization.
 
(4)    an attorney licensed in New Mexico conducting private investigations while engaged in the practice of law.
 
(5)    an officer or employee of the United States or this state or a political subdivision of the United States or this state while that officer or employee is engaged in the performance of the officer’s or employee’s official duties.
 
(6)    a person engaged exclusively in the business of obtaining and furnishing information concerning the financial rating of persons.
(7)    a charitable philanthropic society or association duly incorporated under the laws of this state that is organized and maintained for the public good and not for private profit.
 
(8)    a licensed collection agency or an employee of the agency while acting within the scope of employment while making an investigation incidental to the business of the agency, including an investigation of the location of a debtor or the debtor’s property.
 
(9)    admitted insurers, adjusters, agents and insurance brokers licensed by the state performing duties in connection with insurance transactions by them, or
 
(10)    an institution subject to the jurisdiction of the director of the financial institutions division of the department or the comptroller of currency of the United States.

Permit Required

An applicant for a level three security guard must be firearm certified by the New Mexico law enforcement academy or the national rifle association.
See: NM Stat § 61-27B-18(B)(6)

Requirement to carry an ID card

B. Each security guard shall receive a card issued by the department in the security guard’s name with a definite expiration date that shall be carried by the security guard at all times when the security guard is performing duties that require the security guard to be registered pursuant to the provisions of this section. A security guard is not required to obtain a new card each time the security guard changes employment.
See: NM Stat § 61-27B-15(B)

Moral Character

NM Stat § 61-27B-16(B)(2)
Applicant must have good moral character

Fingerprint

NMAC § 16.48.2.18(C)

Pursuant to Section 61-27B-34 of the act, all applicants for initial issuance, reinstatement or renewal of a level one security guard registration in New Mexico shall be required to be fingerprinted to establish positive identification for a state and federal criminal history background check.

 1.  All applicants for licensure or registration shall be fingerprinted electronically as required for submission to the federal bureau of investigation to conduct a national criminal history investigation and for submission to the department of public safety to conduct a state criminal history investigation.

 2.  Initial and renewal applicants will need to register on-line with the agent for New Mexico department of public safety prior to going to an electronic fingerprinting location:
 (a)  at the electronic fingerprinting location, the applicant will need to provide the electronic fingerprinting technician with a registration number they received after registering online.
 (b)  a designated fee determined by the New Mexico department of public safety shall be paid at the time of registration by credit card or at the fingerprinting site by cashier’s check or money order, and
 (c)  fingerprint results will be sent electronically to the department.

All applicants must use the following fingerprint process to request a FBI and State criminal history background check:

•   The fee is $44.00, which can be paid at the time of registration by credit card or at the fingerprinting site by cashier’s check or money order.

See: Application Form

Substance Abuse

The Department may deny, revoke or suspend a license or registration held or applied for if the individual has been adjudged mentally incompetent or insane by regularly constituted authorities.
See: NM Stat 61-27B-26(K)

Mental Health

The Department may deny, revoke or suspend a license or registration held or applied for if the individual has been adjudged mentally incompetent or insane by regularly constituted authorities.

See: NM Stat 61-27B-26(L)

The applicant must provide proof of successful completion of a psychological evaluation prescribed by the department to determine suitability for carrying firearms.
See: NMAC §16.48.2.19(B)(11)

C. PSYCHOLOGICAL EVALUATION
(1) Requirements: Prior to certification as a level three security guard in the state of New Mexico, upon initial licensure only, it shall be necessary for each applicant to be examined by a licensed psychologist regarding the individual’s mental suitability to carry a firearm within the individual’s scope of duty as a licensed level three security guard. A list of licensed psychologists who are able to administer the exam will be available on the website or from the board office.

(a) All psychological evaluations shall be on a form provided by the department and must state if the applicant is recommended or not recommended to carry a firearm. If an applicant is not recommended to carry a firearm, the psychologist shall specify the reason(s) the applicant is not recommended to carry a firearm.
(b) Evaluations cannot be more than one year old for certification purposes.
(c) The original evaluation form shall be signed and transmitted directly to the board by the psychologist that performed the psychological evaluation.
(d) The willful providing of false information or willful failure to disclose information that the applicant knows or should have known is necessary to a complete and accurate evaluation shall be grounds for denial of licensure.

(2) Evaluation standards: The psychological evaluation shall consist of the Minnesota multi-phasic inventory-2 restructured form or MMPI-2RF. The report shall incorporate all information gathered in the interview and testing, and shall contain a specific

See: NMAC §16.48.2.19(C)

Criminal History Background Check

Background investigations for licensure may include reviews by regulation and Licensing Department and the Private Investigations Advisory Board as well as the state police and the federal bureau of investigations.

NM Stat § 61-27B-16(B)(4)
A qualified applicant is an individual who has not been convicted of a felony or an offense involving dishonesty, an offense involving an intentional violent act or the illegal use or possession of a deadly weapon and has not been found to have violated professional ethical standards.

All applicants are required to have background and criminal history checks commencing with fingerprint filings. The pertinent law holds: Pursuant to Section 61-27B-34 of the act, all applicants for initial issuance or reinstatement of a level three security guard registration in New Mexico shall be required to be fingerprinted to establish positive identification for a state and federal criminal history background check. All applicants for licensure or registration shall be fingerprinted electronically as required for submission to the federal bureau of investigation to conduct a national criminal history investigation and for submission to the department of public safety to conduct a state criminal history investigation.

Personal References

Not Required

Training Requirements

(5) in addition to the training required to be registered as a level two security guard and before the applicant shall be placed for the first time at a guard post as a level three security guard, has completed a curriculum approved by the department consisting of the minimum training for firearm certification prescribed by the department; provided that the additional training required by the department is provided by:

  (a)   a public educational institution in New Mexico or an educational institution licensed by the higher education department pursuant to the Post-Secondary Educational Institution Act;

  (b)   an in-house training program provided by a licensed private patrol company using a curriculum approved by the department;

  (c)   the New Mexico law enforcement academy; or
(d) any other department-approved educational institution using a curriculum approved by the department and complying with department standards set forth in department rules;
See: NM Stat §61-27B-18(B)(5)

Level One
Pursuant to 16.48.2.17 D. NMAC, the following eight hour curriculum is the minimum training required and must be completed
within twelve months prior to application for security guard level one licensing.
(1)legal training for security guards;
•   legal responsibilities, qualifications, restrictions and liability of level one security guard;
•   introduction to use of force continuum, appropriate use of force and de-escalation techniques;
•   appropriate search and seizure, legal restrictions and civil liability , and;
•   New Mexico laws on trespass pursuant to the act, Section 30-14-1 NMSA 1978;
(2) authority and responsibility of the security guard;
•   communication with local law enforcement;
•   radio dispatch protocol and other communication tools;
•   image, professional communication, note-taking and report writing;
(3) incident scene management and preservation;
•   identifying evidence;
•   care and handling of evidence;
•   securing the immediate area, and;
•   witness/participant identification

Level Two
Pursuant to 16.48.2.18 D & E. NMAC, the following twenty hour curriculum in addition to the Level One training is the minimum
training required and should be completed within twelve months prior to application for security guard level two registration.
(1) legal and practical aspects of use of force and personal/employer liability;
(2) verbal and written communication and conflict management;
(3) restraint and control devices training shall include, but not be limited to, the following subjects:
•   handcuffing nomenclature;
•   daily maintenance and safety checks;
•   applying and removing handcuffs;
•   potentially uncooperative and uncooperative handcuffing;
•   handcuffing from control holds;
•   handcuffing from standing and prone;
•   dangers of positional asphyxia and excited delirium;
•   standing a prone handcuffed subject;
•   conflict resolution;
•   handcuffing guidelines and best practice; and
•   use of force and justification for handcuffing;

(4) defensive impact tools training shall include, but not be limited to, the following subjects:
•   moral and legal aspects of baton usage;
•   use of force;
•   baton familiarization and uses;
•   first aid for baton injuries;
•   fundamentals of baton injuries;
•   stances and grips;
•   target areas;
•   defensive techniques;
•   control techniques;
•   arrest and control techniques, and;
•   skill practice;

(5) chemical agents training shall include, but not be limited to the following subjects:
•   effects of chemical agents;
•   avoiding bad positions;
•   disengagement;
•   proper defensive positions;
•   shielding;
•   drawing techniques;
•   defense against moving attacks;
•   spraying techniques;
•   using OC spray with light;
•   multiple opponent defense;
•   proper weapon retention and disarming;
•   cautions and hazards;
•   recovery and decontamination;
•   functioning when contaminated, and;
•   storage and maintenance

Level Three
Pursuant to 16.48.2.19 D. NMAC, the following sixteen hour
curriculum in addition to the Level One and Level Two training and firearm
certification is the proposed minimum training to be required and would be
completed within twelve months prior to application for security guard level three registration.
•   The four firearms safety rules
•   Weapon manipulation
•   Types of sidearms
•   Firearm retention and equipment
•   Firearm storage devices
•   Locking devices
•   Ammunition and storage
•   Training household members
•   Hazards of loaded firearms in the home
•   Mental conditioning and tactics
•   Weapon manipulation and marksmanship
•   Threat recognition and judgmental shooting
•   Laws pertaining to firearms, deadly physical force and the exercise of the powers of arrest

See: Exam and Education Schedule

Exam Requirement

(5) in addition to the training required to be registered as a level two security guard and before the applicant shall be placed for the first time at a guard post as a level three security guard, has completed a curriculum approved by the department consisting of the minimum training for firearm certification prescribed by the department; provided that the additional training required by the department is provided by:

  (a)   a public educational institution in New Mexico or an educational institution licensed by the higher education department pursuant to the Post-Secondary Educational Institution Act;

  (b)   an in-house training program provided by a licensed private patrol company using a curriculum approved by the department;

  (c)   the New Mexico law enforcement academy; or
(d) any other department-approved educational institution using a curriculum approved by the department and complying with department standards set forth in department rules;
See: NM Stat §61-27B-18(B)(5)

Level One
Pursuant to 16.48.2.17 D. NMAC, the following eight hour curriculum is the minimum training required and must be completed
within twelve months prior to application for security guard level one licensing.
(1)legal training for security guards;
•   legal responsibilities, qualifications, restrictions and liability of level one security guard;
•   introduction to use of force continuum, appropriate use of force and de-escalation techniques;
•   appropriate search and seizure, legal restrictions and civil liability , and;
•   New Mexico laws on trespass pursuant to the act, Section 30-14-1 NMSA 1978;
(2) authority and responsibility of the security guard;
•   communication with local law enforcement;
•   radio dispatch protocol and other communication tools;
•   image, professional communication, note-taking and report writing;
(3) incident scene management and preservation;
•   identifying evidence;
•   care and handling of evidence;
•   securing the immediate area, and;
•   witness/participant identification

Level Two
Pursuant to 16.48.2.18 D & E. NMAC, the following twenty hour curriculum in addition to the Level One training is the minimum
training required and should be completed within twelve months prior to application for security guard level two registration.
(1) legal and practical aspects of use of force and personal/employer liability;
(2) verbal and written communication and conflict management;
(3) restraint and control devices training shall include, but not be limited to, the following subjects:
•   handcuffing nomenclature;
•   daily maintenance and safety checks;
•   applying and removing handcuffs;
•   potentially uncooperative and uncooperative handcuffing;
•   handcuffing from control holds;
•   handcuffing from standing and prone;
•   dangers of positional asphyxia and excited delirium;
•   standing a prone handcuffed subject;
•   conflict resolution;
•   handcuffing guidelines and best practice; and
•   use of force and justification for handcuffing;

(4) defensive impact tools training shall include, but not be limited to, the following subjects:
•   moral and legal aspects of baton usage;
•   use of force;
•   baton familiarization and uses;
•   first aid for baton injuries;
•   fundamentals of baton injuries;
•   stances and grips;
•   target areas;
•   defensive techniques;
•   control techniques;
•   arrest and control techniques, and;
•   skill practice;

(5) chemical agents training shall include, but not be limited to the following subjects:
•   effects of chemical agents;
•   avoiding bad positions;
•   disengagement;
•   proper defensive positions;
•   shielding;
•   drawing techniques;
•   defense against moving attacks;
•   spraying techniques;
•   using OC spray with light;
•   multiple opponent defense;
•   proper weapon retention and disarming;
•   cautions and hazards;
•   recovery and decontamination;
•   functioning when contaminated, and;
•   storage and maintenance

Level Three
Pursuant to 16.48.2.19 D. NMAC, the following sixteen hour
curriculum in addition to the Level One and Level Two training and firearm
certification is the proposed minimum training to be required and would be
completed within twelve months prior to application for security guard level three registration.
•   The four firearms safety rules
•   Weapon manipulation
•   Types of sidearms
•   Firearm retention and equipment
•   Firearm storage devices
•   Locking devices
•   Ammunition and storage
•   Training household members
•   Hazards of loaded firearms in the home
•   Mental conditioning and tactics
•   Weapon manipulation and marksmanship
•   Threat recognition and judgmental shooting
•   Laws pertaining to firearms, deadly physical force and the exercise of the powers of arrest

See: Exam and Education Schedule

Child Support

N.M. Stat. Ann. § 40-5A-1 through § 40-5A-135
A person who submits an application for a license issued by a board is not eligible for issuance of the license if he is not in compliance with a judgment and order for support or subpoenas or warrants relating to paternity or child support proceedings.

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