No state law regarding private security guards practices - - Jackson, MS

No state law regarding private security guards practices

JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

There have been two shootings involving security guards at public places within weeks of one another.

There is no state law outlining the roles and responsibilities of a security guard and there has been some uncertainty as what they can and cannot do.

We spoke with Mississippi Senator Kenny Wayne Jones who says there isn't a state law really clarifying this issue. However, it could be something lawmakers look into.

"We haven't looked at anything pertaining to the duties and responsibility of security guards. It's a given that when private entities require their services, they go out and find and hire their own security guards, but they're right there on site for public safety," Senator Jones explained.

Early in the month of December three people were shot inside of the American Legion in Vicksburg. One person died as a result of that shooting. On Christmas Day there was a shooting at the M Bar in Jackson. In both instances security guards were involved, even firing shots.

"I do believe in protecting yourself, but I also do not believe in shooting into a crowd of people or into a occupied dwelling because that's where innocent bystanders could be affected or shot," said Desonya Andrews of Jackson.

"That's what develops a gray area because most of the time these guards are from private companies which have their own rules," added Senator Jones.  

"We might have to look at to see what's constituted in the law and by definition what are they supposed to be actually doing," Senator Jones explained.

Lawmakers are looking into the issue in more detail. They are also encouraging private businesses to hire off duty cops as security that way there isn't any confusion.

Saturday night, that's exactly what Hinds County Sheriff Deputies did for a concert at the Mississippi Coliseum in Jackson.

That brings peace to concert goers like Desonya Andrews.   

"I actually see the Hinds County Sheriff Department and I feel totally safe. As far as the security guard I don't know, I don't know what they are licensed to do," said Andrews.

It's an ongoing debate for your safety and lawmakers hope to get some clarity on it when they return to session.  


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