While these services have been viewed as the typical "rent-a-cop" services, the state of California has changed the regulations as of 2006 (effective in Davis as of January 1st, 2011) to require all PSOs (private security officers) to obtain PSO/Guard Cards. This includes Door and Roaming Security at local drinking/dancing establishments. These PSOs are regulated by the state, must maintain a clean criminal history/background check and DMV record.

There are several different types of PSOs, and each has it's own guidelines for what they may and may not do depending on your level of PSO training.

Each Bar/Club is required to staff security that has a current Guard Card licensed by the state of California's BSIS. Due to the high rate of turn-over at bars/clubs, the cost is paid by the employee and normally not the establishment. However, all security personnel in all fields are required to obtain the license.

The cost for the license varies, as does the training, depending on which type you are qualifying for. The base level Guard Card requires approximately 40 hours of class time, an extensive background check by the state and federal Department of Justice and has an average cost of about $150.00 which includes the background checks and a livescan which places the individual permanently on file with all law enforcement. Any business or establishment which knowingly hires and keeps in their employ any individual in a security field who has not obtained or registered for a guard card can be fined up to $5,000.00 while the individual may be fined up to $1,500.00 for working under false pretenses.

Individuals who wish to perform Private Security functions (private parties, personal security services, etc.) must obtain a minimum of a Level 2 PSO card, have a minimum of two (2) years of security services background and obtain an additional background check through the state and federal government annually.

Security Guards and Patrols

These are often utilized for special events. Businesses, construction sites, apartment communities, or homeowners' associations may also employ such services to have stationary guards or periodic patrols on a long-term basis.

Auto Security Systems

Businesses that install car alarms.

Building Security Systems

Businesses that install and/or monitor burglar alarm systems or closed circuit TV systems for buildings. (See Davis Municipal Code, Chapter 4 for city information on burglar alarms.)