Many Hawaii guards will soon be breaking the law


HONOLULU — A deadline is coming up for a new licensing requirement for Hawaii’s security guards and nightclub bouncers.

But most of them haven’t applied yet and will be breaking the law, starting Monday. The new requirements include eight hours of training and background checks.

Only about 4,000 applications have been turned in, Hawaii News Now reported. According to a 2010 report, there are an estimated 11,000 security workers in Hawaii.

“If they haven’t applied, which meant they haven’t met the requirements, then they technically should not be working or acting as a guard until they do so,” said Charlene Tamanaha, executive officer of the state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs’ Board of Private Detectives and Guards.

But because of a backlog in reviewing applications, the board will allow a guard who submits an application by Monday and attests to meeting the requirements to continue working, pending a review of the application.

The state could take away a guard agency’s license if a complaint is filed. The board doesn’t have jurisdiction over businesses that hire the guards, so the employee could be fined. The state is hoping that liability concerns will compel employers to help with enforcement.

Lee Donohue, a former Honolulu police chief who is training guards under the new curriculum, said he believes smaller companies may be waiting to see if there’s any enforcement. “They don’t think anything is gonna happen,” he said.