Starting Jan. 1, 2023, Tennessee will require enhanced training requirements for registered security guards while enacting greater potential disciplinary measures for violations related to these new consumer protections.
These new requirements are part of legislation signed by Governor Bill Lee that has become known as Dallas’s Law. Named for the late Dallas Barrett, Dallas’s Law creates greater protections for citizens by raising the training standards required of all security guards employed in establishments where alcohol is served.
Barrett died in 2021 after an altercation with security guards in a bar in Nashville’s Lower Broadway area.
The Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance’s (“TDCI”) Private Protective Services regulates armed and unarmed security guards, certified security guard trainers, contract security companies, and proprietary security organizations (“PSOs”). A PSO is an establishment that employs security guards for their own security or patrol services, such as a bar or restaurant that employs its own guards.
“Dallas’s Law was created from a tragic situation, and I extend my condolences to Mr. Barrett’s family and friends,” said TDCI Commissioner Carter Lawrence. “Increasing the training required by security guards and especially those employed in establishments where alcohol is served is a step toward hopefully preventing similar situations from occurring in the future.”
As part of Dallas’s Law, all security guards working in establishments that serve alcohol in Tennessee must complete training in de-escalation, safe restraint, first aid, and CPR. Additionally, all security guards working in establishments that serve alcohol in Tennessee must complete refresher training on these requirements every two years in addition to renewing their registration cards.
The law stiffens the punishment for establishments where security guards are employed without a valid or appropriate registration card, including the suspension of the establishment’s alcohol license by the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission or permit by a local beer board.
All unarmed security guards will now also need to complete refresher training every two years. An establishment that employs its own security guards is required to register with TDCI as a PSO. If the establishment also holds a permit or license to serve alcohol, then the establishment will have additional registration requirements under Dallas’s Law.
Dallas’s Law also removes an exemption that allowed certain unarmed security guards from being required to complete any training.
An FAQ page about Dallas’s Law can be found here.