Williams & Nickl (W&N) authored two legislative bills that were both signed by the Governor in August 2021. These legislative changes to the Private Detective, Private Alarm, Private Security, Fingerprint Vendor and Locksmith Act (Act) were the product of the combined efforts of W&N, the Associated Detective and Security Agencies of Illinois (ADSAI) and the Illinois Security Professionals Association (ISPA).
Public Act 102-0152 made significant changes to the training requirements for private detectives and their employees and private security contractors and their employees. Another change is that all licensees and employees who were issued Firearm Control Cards (FCC) (or who wish to apply) will have changes in the number of hours required to obtain a firearm training certificate and the addition of annual refresher firearm training requirements. We include a short summary of the Act changes made by PA 102-0152. All licensees are urged to read through the Act changes:
20-Hour Basic Training
For 37 years, all 20-hour basic training was required to be taught in a classroom. That is now changed. Starting January 1, 2021, employers have a choice of delivering all 20-hour basic training via the internet, in a classroom setting, or some combination of both. The Department will accept manufacturer training videos, YouTube, DVD instructional videos, and any training program that is designed by an employer to auto-run on a computer or webpage.
Private detective employees can be instructed on any topic their employer deems reasonably related to their employment. Private security contractor employees have a list of topics that they must be trained on, but the list is now modernized to bring it into the 21st century.
Private Detective Training
For the first time ever, private detectives will be required to obtain 8 hours of annual training on a topic of their choice if it’s reasonably related to their scope of practice. A log of all hours as well as documentation sufficient to allow the Department to verify those hours must be maintained for 5 years.
Private detective employees will now be required to obtain 8 hours of annual training on a topic of their employer’s choice if it’s reasonably related to their scope of practice. The private detective employer must give the employee a training certificate for each year the employee completes annual training.
Private Security Contractor Training
Private security contractors have the same annual training requirements as private detectives except they are only required to obtain 4 hours of annual training.
All new training requirements are effective 1-1-22, meaning private detectives and their employees and private security contractors will have to fulfill their annual training requirements in 2022 and thereafter.
For those who are licensed both as a private detective and a private security contractor, only 8 hours of annual training is required.
There are significant changes to the 20-hour firearm training requirement in the Act. Now, 28 hours is required. Previously, an applicant for an FCC had to obtain 20 hours of combination classroom instruction and range time. The new law require all applicants for a Firearms Training Certificate complete 20 hours of classroom instruction on designated topics plus 8 hours of range time.
Additionally, all FCC holders need to complete 8 hours of annual range time. The Department will have to pass a rule as to how that will be documented.
Public Act 102-0418 was also authored by W&N and was initially submitted to the legislature by the Illinois Electronic Security Association (IESA) approximately 6 years ago. Since then, it was resubmitted 3 times and finally cleared all legislative hurdles and was signed by the Governor last Saturday.
The text of the addition to section 40-5(b) is: “Reasonable attorney’s fees and costs may be awarded to the licensee, interested party, or person injured if he or she successfully obtains injunctive relief, whether by consent or otherwise.”
This new language gives individuals and professional associations the ability to reclaim attorney’s fees if they ask a circuit court to order a defendant to stop unlicensed practice in any of the 5 licensed professions in this Act. Since IDFPR does not have time nor the funds to pursue unlicensed practice, any industry association or individual can sue under what’s known as a “private attorney general” action. This change has been a long time coming!
Although we have authored numerous legislative changes over the years, these two bills constitute a personal point of pride for us.