Chapter 5.40
LICENSE – SECURITY POLICE, MERCHANT POLICE, DETECTIVE AGENCIES

Sections:

5.40.010    Compliance required.

5.40.020    Definitions.

5.40.030    Permit card.

5.40.040    Refusal, revocation or suspension of license or permit.

5.40.050    Exemptions.

5.40.060    License fees.

5.40.070    Certain practices prohibited.

5.40.080    Uniforms.

5.40.090    Vehicle identification.

5.40.100    Surety bond required.

5.40.110    Insurance coverage required.

5.40.120    Bond and insurance – License suspension or denial for failure to file.

5.40.130    Violation – Penalty.

5.40.010 Compliance required.

It is unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to act as security officers, merchant patrol officers or private detectives or to engage in business as a merchant patrol agency, security police agency or detective agency in the city without first obtaining a license and permit pursuant to the provisions of this chapter. (Ord. 2452, 1981)

5.40.020 Definitions.

As used in this chapter:

(1) “Merchant patrol agency” means the business of or the representation of being engaged in the business for hire or reward and as an independent contractor of guarding or protecting persons or property or patrolling buildings, streets or districts for such purpose.

(2) “Private detective agency” means the business of or the representation of being engaged in the business of making an investigation or investigations for hire or reward, with reference to any of the following matters: Detecting, discovering or revealing crimes or criminals, or securing secret information or evidence relating thereto; the habits, conduct, movements, whereabouts, associates, credibility of witnesses or of other persons; the location or recovery of lost or stolen property; the causes, origin or responsibility for fires, accidents and injuries to real or personal property; the securing of evidence to be used before authorized investigating committees, boards or in trial of civil or criminal cases.

(3) “Security officer,” “merchant patrol officer” or “private detective” means any person engaged in the security police business, merchant patrol business or the detective business, as that term is herein defined, including employees of security police, merchant patrol or private detective agencies.

(4) “Security police agency” means the business of or the representation of being engaged in the business for hire as stationary police security officers in any specific location and for the specific purposes of maintaining the security of the property within such location. This section includes those persons specifically employed to apprehend shoplifters. (Ord. 2452, 1981)

5.40.030 Permit card.

Every private detective, security police officer, merchant patrol officer shall, at all times, have in his possession a permit card in form approved by the chief of police, and such card shall have thereon, in addition to such other information and data as may be required by the chief of police, the licensee’s photograph, thumbprint and signature. Every application for a license under this chapter shall submit to being fingerprinted for a criminal record check. The chief of police may issue a temporary permit, not to exceed 30 days, to an applicant pending results of the criminal record check. Such temporary permit will only be issued after all fees have been paid. (Ord. 2452, 1981)

5.40.040 Refusal, revocation or suspension of license or permit.

The chief of police has the authority to refuse, revoke or suspend a license or permit on a showing of cause for any such revocation or suspension. Upon refusal, revocation or suspension of any license or permit the chief of police shall issue written findings setting forth the reason or reasons for said revocation or suspension. The applicant for or holder of a license or permit may appeal such refusal, revocation or suspension to the city commission. The applicant shall have 10 days from the receipt of the written findings to appeal such refusal, revocation or suspension. (Ord. 2452, 1981)

5.40.050 Exemptions.

The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to:

(1) Any officer or employee of any department or agency of the United States or of any state, city or other municipal corporation while engaged in the performance of his official duties;

(2) Any person, firm or corporation furnishing information concerning the financial standing and credit of others, the personal habits and financial responsibility of applicants for insurance, bonds or commercial credit;

(3) Private police or watchmen not acting as independent contractors but acting as employees of a single person, firm or corporation other than one engaged in the business licensed by this chapter;

(4) Private detectives whose principal place of business is not in the city, provided that his business in the city is of a temporary nature only and that he has, before engaging in his activities in the city, registered with the chief of police of the city;

(5) Reserve police officers of the city of Wenatchee not representing the city while engaged in private work for the benefit of the reserve officer’s fund. (Ord. 2524 § 1, 1983; Ord. 2452, 1981)

5.40.060 License fees.

The license fee for security police agency, merchant patrol agency, private detective agency, security police officer, merchant patrol officer and private detective, in addition to a business license, shall be and are fixed in the amounts shown in the following schedule, and shall be payable annually in advance. The license fee for any agency will permit one owner of that agency to be issued a permit card.

Any person or agency involved in security police, merchant patrol and private detective shall only be required to pay the license fee for one business; such person or agency must, however, declare which permitted activities the agency will perform.

Security police agency

$50.00 per year

Merchant patrol agency

$50.00 per year

Private detective agency

$50.00 per year

Merchant patrol officer

$5.00 per year

Security police officer

$5.00 per year

Private detective

$5.00 per year

Security police officer, merchant patrol officer and private detective licenses will only be issued to bona fide employees of a security police, merchant patrol or private detective agency. Such license will not be transferable from one agency to another without the express written consent of the original of issue. (Ord. 2452, 1981)

5.40.070 Certain practices prohibited.

(1) It is unlawful for a licensee to represent to members of the public in any way, either directly or indirectly or by implication, that the licensee is an official or semiofficial law enforcement organization or that employees, agents or solicitors of the licensee are authorized by the state of Washington or any of its political subdivisions to act as law enforcement officers, including, by way of example but not limitation, the following conduct:

(a) Use any uniform, badge, insignia, business card, stationery or any other device, object, or type of apparel, which is not readily distinguishable to average members of the consuming public from such devices, objects, or types of apparel which are used by authorized law enforcement officers;

(b) Use any uniform, badge, insignia, title, or identification card, or make any statement with the intent to give an impression that the licensee is connected in any way with the federal government, a state government, or any political subdivision of either; or

(c) Use any letterhead, advertisement, or other printed matter, or in any manner illegally represent that the licensee is an instrumentality of the federal government, state government, or any political subdivision of either.

(2) It is unlawful for any licensee to engage in any acts, practices, or conduct which hampers the operations and activities of authorized law enforcement and public safety officials. (Ord. 2452, 1981)

5.40.080 Uniforms.

The chief of police shall adopt a set of standards to be used in the selection of uniforms by any person, firm or corporation which is acting as security officers, merchant police officers or private detectives. The uniforms of said merchant patrol agency, private detective agency or security agency shall conform to the standards adopted by the chief of police. A copy of said standards will be supplied to all potential merchant patrol agencies, private detective agencies or security agencies upon their application for a license to operate as a security agency, private detective agency or merchant patrol agency. (Ord. 2452, 1981)

5.40.090 Vehicle identification.

The chief of police shall adopt a set of standards to be used in the selection of vehicle identification and markings by any person, firm, or corporation which is acting as security officers, merchant police officers, or private detectives. The vehicle identification and markings of said merchant patrol agency, private detective agency, or security agency shall conform to the standards adopted by the chief of police, a copy of said standards will be supplied to all potential merchant patrol agencies, private detective agencies, or security agencies upon their application for a license to operate as a security agency, private detective agency, or merchant patrol agency. (Ord. 2452, 1981)

5.40.100 Surety bond required.

(1) No license shall be issued under the provisions of this chapter unless the applicant files with the licensing official a fidelity bond executed by a surety company authorized to do business in this state in the sum of $5,000 for each employee conditioned to recover against the principal, its servants, officers and employees by reason of its wrongful or illegal act and conduct of such business licensed under the provisions of this chapter.

(2) The bond required by this chapter shall name the city of Wenatchee as obligee and anyone so injured by the principal, its servants, officers, agents and employees shall have the right and shall be permitted to sue directly upon this obligation in their own name and this obligation shall be subject to successive suits for recovery until complete exhaustion of the face amount hereof. (Ord. 2524 § 2, 1983; Ord. 2452, 1981)

5.40.110 Insurance coverage required.

(1) No license shall be issued under the provisions of this chapter unless the applicant files with the licensing official a certificate of insurance naming the city of Wenatchee as an additional insured.

(2) Minimum coverage is fixed as follows: Bodily injury, $100,000 to $300,000; property damage, $100,000. (Ord. 2452, 1981)

5.40.120 Bond and insurance – License suspension or denial for failure to file.

(1) Every licensee shall at all times maintain on file with the licensing official the surety bond and insurance required by this chapter in full force and effect and upon failure to do so, the license of such licensee shall be suspended and shall not be reinstated until this requirement is met.

(2) The licensing official shall deny the application for a license if the applicant fails to satisfy the surety bond or insurance requirements.

(3) The licensing official may refuse to reinstate a license notwithstanding the licensee’s compliance with this section, if, during the suspension, the licensing official:

(a) Finds any reason which would justify refusal to issue or justifies a suspension or revocation of a license; or

(b) Finds performance by an applicant of any practice, while under suspension for failure to keep his surety bond or insurance in force, for which a license under the provisions of this chapter is required. (Ord. 2452, 1981)

5.40.130 Violation – Penalty.

Any person violating any of the provisions of this chapter, or operating any business within the city without first having procured a license as herein provided, is guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof shall be punished by a fine of not more than $500.00 or by imprisonment for not more than six months, or by both such fine and imprisonment. (Ord. 2452, 1981)