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Join a Security Guard Union in IOWA & MISSOURI

If your looking to join a Security Guard Union in Iowa & Missouri please fill out the join a security guard union form below and a United Federation LEOS-PBA security guard union representative will be in contact with you shortly.

Sec. 7. [§ 157.] Employees shall have the right to self-organization, to form, join, or assist labor organizations, to bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing, and to engage in other concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection, and shall also have the right to refrain from any or all of such activities except to the extent that such right may be affected by an agreement requiring membership in a labor organization as a condition of employment as authorized in section 8(a)(3) [section 158(a)(3) of this title].

Employee Rights

Employees covered by the National Labor Relations Act are afforded certain rights to join together to improve their wages and working conditions, with or without a union.

Union Activity

Employees have the right to attempt to form a union where none currently exists, or to decertify a union that has lost the support of employees.

Examples of employee rights include:

  • Forming, or attempting to form, a union in your workplace;

  • Joining a union whether the union is recognized by your employer or not;

  • Assisting a union in organizing your fellow employees;

  • Refusing to do any or all of these things.

  • To be fairly represented by a union


Activity Outside a Union

Employees who are not represented by a union also have rights under the NLRA.  Specifically, the National Labor Relations Board protects the rights of employees to engage in “concerted activity”,  which is when two or more employees take action for their mutual aid or protection regarding terms and conditions of employment.  A single employee may also engage in protected concerted activity if he or she is acting on the authority of other employees, bringing group complaints to the employer’s attention, trying to induce group action, or seeking to prepare for group action.

A few examples of protected concerted activities are:

  • Two or more employees addressing their employer about improving their pay.

  • Two or more employees discussing work-related issues beyond pay, such as safety concerns, with each other.

  • An employee speaking to an employer on behalf of one or more co-workers about improving workplace conditions.

Who is covered?

Most employees in the private sector are covered by the NLRA. However, the Act specifically excludes individuals who are:

  • employed by Federal, state, or local government

  • employed as agricultural laborers

  • employed in the domestic service of any person or family in a home

  • employed by a parent or spouse

  • employed as an independent contractor

  • employed as a supervisor (supervisors who have been discriminated against for refusing to violate the NLRA may be covered)

  • employed by an employer subject to the Railway Labor Act, such as railroads and airlines

  • employed by any other person who is not an employer as defined in the NLRA

United Federation LEOS-PBA  


State Security Licensing Authorities: Iowa


The state of Iowa like other states requires the person wishing to be employed as an unarmed security guard to be licensed. In order to obtain a license in the state of Iowa the applicant is required to fulfill certain requirements prior to the license being issued. The license will be issued for the amount of two years by the Iowa Department of Public Safety and must be renewed thirty days prior to the date it will expire. The personal and training requirements for the unarmed security guard is pursuant to the Code of Iowa Chapter 80 A, Iowa Administrative Code 661 Chapter 2. There are both personal and training requirements that must be fulfilled prior to an unarmed security license being issued. The personal requirements are:

  • The applicant will be at least 18 years of age.

  • The applicant will have a high school diploma, or they will hold an equivalency certificate.

  • The applicant will submit a current photo with their application.

  • The applicant will have a background check done.

  • There will be fingerprints submitted.

  • The applicant will provide proof they can work legally in the United States.

  • The applicant will have no felony convictions or aggravated misdemeanors on their record.

  • Applicants will not have a history of drugs, alcohol or mental issues.

  • The applicant will have attended state certified training courses and will have passed the written examination.


The person that intends to apply for an unarmed security guard license will need to attend the classes that are required at a state certified facility. These courses prepare the applicant for employment in the security sector, whether they decide on public or private security. The classes will include:

  • The legal issues that could arise

  • Ethical issues

  • The use of force

  • Lawfully detaining a suspect

  • Professionalism in the security environment

  • Reporting to official agencies

  • Emergency medical and fire procedures

  • A written examination


The unarmed security guard in the state of Iowa will be prepared to work in the security field with confidence and professionalism with an understanding of the procedures, they need to take in emergency situations. The applicant will also be prepared for the written examination that will cover the laws and possible situations that could occur, while on duty.

The licensing will enable the unarmed security guard to work in a variety of opportunities in the employment field. The types of employment the unarmed security guard will find work can be:

  • Banks and finical institutions

  • Schools and colleges

  • Museums

  • Malls and retail stores

  • Hotels

  • Apartment buildings and complexes

  • State and federal offices or buildings

  • Parks and other public land

  • Private security duty


The Iowa unarmed security guard will find employment in the private sector in places like guarding security gates to private entrances and public utility buildings. The applicant might also have the requirement by the employer to have a valid Iowa driver’s license. This is not a requirement to apply for an unarmed security license.


The state of Iowa requires any person working as an armed security guard to have a license. This license will be issued after the applicant has supplied the personal information required and attended a state certified armed security guard course. The statutes that the armed and unarmed security guards are governed by in the state of Iowa is the Code of Iowa Chapter 80 A, Iowa Administrative Code 661 Chapter 2. The Iowa Department of Public Safety is responsible for the issue of the armed security guard license once the requirements are met. In these codes are the following requirements:

  • The applicant applying for an armed security guard license must be at least 21 years of age.

  • The applicant will have either a high school diploma or a have an equivalency certificate.

  • The applicant will provide a current photo.

  • Applicants will submit to a background check.

  • Applicants will be fingerprinted.

  • The applicant will provide proof; they are able to legally work in the United States.

  • The person applying will not have any felony convictions or aggravated misdemeanors.

  • Applicants will attend state certified training and pass a written exam.

  • Applicants will have no history of drugs, alcohol or mental problems.


The person that wants to apply for the armed security guard license in the state of Iowa will be required to attend the specified courses at a state certified facility. These courses will include preparing the applicant to work in a security environment and firearm’s training. These courses will include:

  • Legal and ethical issues

  • Professionalism in the security environment

  • Laws and use of force

  • Lawful detainment

  • Emergency medical care

  • Firearm’s training including marksmanship and target practice

  • Use of lethal force

  • Firearm’s laws

  • A written examination


The required courses that must be taken are used as a way to prepare the armed security guard that is licensed in the state of Iowa to work in the security sector. They will be educated in the use of force and professionalism on the job. They will be qualified to handle medical emergencies and criminal activity until the proper authorities arrive.

The opportunity for employment in the security sector can be both in the public sector or the private sector. The can include employment in places such as:

  • Banks and financial settings

  • Schools and colleges

  • Armored vehicles

  • Malls and retail stores

  • State and federal office buildings

  • Parks and other public lands

  • Private security settings

  • Hospitals

  • Hotels

  • Apartment complexes

  • Housing developments


The armed security guard license the applicant, who has complied with all the requirements, will be issued by the Iowa Department of Public Safety. This license will be valid for two years and must be reapplied for at least 30 days prior to the date of expiration. There might be a separate requirement by the employer for the armed security guard to hold a valid Iowa driver’s license.


State Security Licensing Authorities: Missouri

Private Security

7900 Forsyth Boulevard, B021
St. Louis, Missouri 63105

7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Main Office: 314-615-4272
Fax:     314-615-5301

Frequently Asked Questions

Guidelines – Opening a Security Agency

If you are interested in hiring off-duty police officers for security at an event or business, please contact the Human Resource Division at 444-5615.

Private Security

The Private Security Section is responsible for the processing, training, and licensing of all applicants for security licenses in the City of St. Louis. With the exception of St. Louis Police Officers, all persons performing a security function in the City of St. Louis must be licensed to do so through the Private Security Section.  This includes police officers from other jurisdictions who are working in the City of St. Louis.

Basic Licensing Requirements


  • At least 21 years of age (18 years of age for watchman category).

  • U.S. citizen or legal resident alien.

  • No felony convictions.

  • Free of any type of chemical dependency.


Licensing Categories

Watchman –   A person employed without police powers and without authorization to carry weapons or protective devices.  A watchman performs the tasks of observation and reporting on or in a designated area and may include patrolling a public street.  A watchman has no powers of arrest, search or detention and must wear an approved uniform.

Courier –  A person employed to carry out the assignment of protecting/transporting property from one designated area to another. A courier must wear an approved military style uniform. A courier has no powers of arrest, search or detention. If qualified, a courier may carry a firearm.

Security Officer – A person employed with certain police powers to protect life or property on or in designated premises. A security officer’s powers exist only within the established property owned or leased by the contracting employer and to incidents occurring on the premises.  If qualified, a security officer may carry a firearm and certain protective devices.

Frequently Asked Questions About Private Security

What must I bring with me when I come to the Private Security Section to apply for a license?
You must have a color photo ID (valid driver’s license or state-issued ID card), and a dated letter from your intended employer (no more than ten days old). Payment of licensing fees can be made by cash, company or personal checks, and most credit/debit cards.


What type of background check is conducted when I apply for a license?
A complete background check is conducted using your name, date of birth and fingerprints. Information obtained from local police agencies, the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the FBI will be used to determine license eligibility. A felony conviction will automatically disqualify anyone from obtaining a license.


Must I carry a security identification card while working?
YES.  The badge/identification card issued by the Private Security Section must be worn conspicuously if working in uniform or carried on the person if working in a uniform- exempt capacity. A metallic company badge may be worn but the word “police” must not be displayed anywhere on the uniform.

As a security officer, may I make an arrest?
Security officers have the power to arrest and detain in incidents occurring on company property. These powers are in effect only while on duty and on the premises you are paid to protect.

Do all security officers wear a uniform?
NO. As determined by the employer, some security officers are licensed in a uniform-exempt capacity and are not required to wear a uniform.

How many licenses may one person hold?
A person may hold a license for any number of employers as long as a letter from each employer requests it and the proper fees are paid. A separate license is issued for each company.  When licensed and working for any given company, the appropriate license/ID card must be displayed on the uniform.

How long is a license valid?
Licensed security personnel are issued a badge/identification card which must be carried/displayed while security duties are being performed. A license is good for one year and it must be renewed annually.

May I work on an expired license?
NO.  Working on an expired license or no license subjects you to arrest and booking. Companies or agencies that knowingly employ someone without a license subjects them to a fine and/or liability in a civil action.

What are the requirements if I want to open my own contract security business?
Generally, St. Louis City ordinance requires that persons wanting to establish their own security contract business have a minimum of two years experience in the security field, either as a licensed officer or supervisor/manager.  Requirements for establishing a company can be found in a link at the end of this section.

General Guidelines For Opening A Security Agency

1. The Board of Police Commissioners limits new agencies to persons who have served two (2) years in the security field, either as a private security officer or police officer, or in some other appropriate professional business or government field. Agency owner qualifications should be provided to the Private Security Section in the form of a letter. The letter should also indicate the intent to have uniformed or uniform exempt officers and armed or unarmed officers.

2. The firm should be registered with the Office of Secretary of State.  Offices are located in the Wainwright Building in St. Louis.  A copy of the papers issued by the Office of Secretary of State shall be made available for the files of the Private Security Section.  These papers should include a listing of names of corporate officers to include their current mailing addresses.  Each person listed as a corporate officer must submit to a fingerprint check conducted by the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department.

3. Persons seeking to operate a security agency who are unknown to members of the        Private Security Section may be required to provide identification, to include names, pedigrees, social security numbers, proof of honorable military service, etc. Fingerprint checks will be conducted on all officers of the company listed on the Missouri Secretary of State registration form.  A fingerprinting fee of $44.00 will be collected from each person requesting a fingerprint check.  This fee may be paid in cash or by money order.

4. New agency operators shall have an indication from the owners of three (3) legitimate businesses, on the firms’ letterheads, that if granted a license to operate in the City of St. Louis, the respective firms will consider hiring the agency to provide security on their premises.  Each company letterhead should include the address and telephone number of the respective business.  Firms that presently are operational in other areas of the state, or in other states, to provide security service, shall provide a request on company letterhead to the Private Security Section before being granted a letter for presentation to the License Collector’s Office.

5. New agency operators, when applying for a license, shall present a color photo of the uniform to be used by the security agency and a company shoulder patch, subject to approval by the Private Security Section.  A company shoulder patch will be mandatory on all shirts, coats and jackets worn by on-duty security personnel.  Current rules prohibit the use of the word “POLICE” on patches or uniforms.

6. Those applying to operate a security agency will furnish their federal and state employer identification numbers to the Private Security Section.

7. Once this information has been compiled, it may be sent/delivered to the Private Security Section where it will be reviewed in a timely manner.  After reviewing this material and after the fingerprint inquiries have been returned and reviewed, the Private Security Section will notify the owner/agent of the company of the outcome of the investigation and provide any additional instructions as necessary.

8. Individuals who meet these criteria will be provided a letter of introduction from the Private Security Section to the License Collector’s Office, Room 104, City Hall.  This letter will authorize the company to obtain a St. Louis business license, which allows the firm to hire private security officers, couriers and private  watchmen.

9. Once a business license has been issued by the License Collector’s Office, a copy of the license will be forwarded to the Private Security Section for its files and at that time the company will be placed on active status.

Join a Security Guard Union in IOWA & MISSOURI

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