Security Personnel Resource Guide FAQ’s

Can Special Police Officers do traffic stops and work on public space?

Special Police Officers’ authority is restricted to the property they are contracted to protect. They have no authority on public space unless they are in fresh pursuit of a misdemeanant or felon (DCMR Title 6a, Chapter 11).


Can Special Police Officers arrest someone on the property where they work?

Yes, Special Police Officers have arrest authority on their contracted property. Like an MPD officer, they can take action and affect an arrest of a subject (DC Code § 23-582, Part A).


Do Security Officers have arrest powers?

No, Security Officers have no arrest authority. Only commissioned Special Police Officers have that authority in the District’s private security industry.


Can Special Police Officers write parking tickets and moving violation tickets?

No, Special Police Officers do not have that authority (DCMR Title 18 § 3002 and § 3003).


What are the differences between the patches on Security Personnel uniforms?

Officers wear a half-moon red patch, with white lettering listing their company’s name. Special Police Officers wear a full circle patch that can be different colors and say “Special Police” within the patch. (DCMR Title 6a, Chapter 11, Section 1109.3 and DCMR Title 17, Chapter 21, Section 2113.4)


Can a Special Police Officer carry a firearm when not on their authorized property?

Generally, firearms or other dangerous weapons carried by a special police officer shall be left on their authorized premises when that special police officer is not on duty (DCMR Title 6a § 1103).

If there are no provisions for the safe storage of their firearm at the location they are working, they may take the firearm home after their tour of duty, and must also respond directly to their residence “without deviation” (DCMR Title 6a, Chapter 11, Section 1103.4).


A Special Police Officer may also carry a firearm when they are traveling between contract sites that they are working. They may traverse “without deviation” between the location they are leaving, and the location where they are going (DCMR Title 6a, Chapter 11, Section 1103.4).



Do Security Officers carry weapons such as firearms and self-defense spray?

No, Security Officers are prohibited from carrying any weapons such as firearms, handcuffs and self-defense spray; they are only permitted to carry a wooden baton as outlined by DC Municipal Regulations (DCMR Title 17, Chapter 21, Section 2120.1g).


How do I apply to become a Security Officer or Special Police Officer?

District of Columbia security personnel are certified by the District’s Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs in cooperation with MPD’s Security Officers Management Branch (SOMB). Security Personnel must meet health and background screening requirements.


To apply, individuals may receive applications from their employing agencies. Applications, supplemental forms, and instructions can also be downloaded from DCRA. This includes an instructional document that outlines the documents to be submitted.