Church Volunteer Security Patrol May 10, 2007
A volunteer security patrol made up of church members would generally require licensing under the provisions of Section 1702.108 or 1702.222, regardless of whether any compensation is received as a result of the activities. The only exception to licensing provided by the legislature for nonprofit and civic organizations is found in Section 1702.327, which applies specifically to nonprofit and civic organizations that employ peace officers under certain circumstances and would not be applicable here.
However, there is one exception to licensing under Chapter 1702 provided by the legislature that could arguably apply, which can be found in section 1702.323 (“Security Department of Private Business”). This exception would allow volunteers to provide security services exclusively for one church, as long as they do not carry firearms and as long as they do not wear “a uniform with any type of badge commonly associated with security personnel or law enforcement or a patch or apparel with ‘security’ on the patch or apparel.” See TEX. OCC. CODE §1702.323(a) & (d)(2). Thus, the wearing of a uniform or any apparel containing the word “security” would subject them to the licensing requirements of the act.