INDIANAPOLIS, Ind (March 14, 2016) -- Four unlicensed security guards in central Indiana have been ordered by the state to cease and desist.
Some of them are accused of impersonating police officers.
Indiana law requires all security guards and private investigators to be licensed through the Indiana Private Investigator and Security Guard Licensing Board.
Sean Robinson is one of the security guards ordered to stop advertising and acting as as security guard.
"I didn't put myself out as a security company. I didn't advertise or approach anybody and I’m not hiring anybody. I was hired directly by the club owner," he said.
Robinson says he was hired directly by the owner of a venue on the northwest side of Indianapolis. He would drive his dark blue Crown Victoria and park it in front of the club to deter people from making bad decisions. The car is equipped with a light bar on top and decals with Robinson's business name on the side. He claims to outfit small police departments and security firms with light bars and other equipment for their vehicles.
"You would be surprised at how little happens when you have one of those parked out front," said Robinson.
However, the Indiana Attorney General's Office says Robinson's ride looked too much like the real thing and accuses Robinson of working security without a license, impersonating police and ultimately deceiving the public.
“It is important that the public can clearly identify law enforcement officials and licensed security guards who are trained and equipped to protect themselves and the public,” Zoeller said. "Having unlicensed individuals out in the field practicing as security guards creates confusion with our law enforcement officers should an incident occur and places the general public at risk, as well as deceives customers expecting a certain level of protection."
"I never used a name other than Sean Robinson because I never hired anybody and I never had employees," said Robinson.
Robinson says he wasn't out to mislead anyone, and argues the definition of a security guard is vague and confusing. Robinson says his attorney didn't even understand the language. At the time, Robinson says he believed he was legally working security.
"You've always heard the term ignorance is no excuse for the law but I wasn't ignorant in my opinion," said Robinson.
Along with Robinson, Jason Abney of Marion County Jail Bonds, Melvin Hall Sr., and Paul Vitti of All County Security were also accused of working as unlicensed security guards and ordered to stop.
Melvin Hall Jr. operated Urban Tactical Response Agency LLC., and last year the state took action against him for impersonating an officer and operating without a license. Now his father, Melvin Hall Sr., is accused of working security unlicensed.
"If you are working unlicensed like this watch out and stop. Get under a licensed security guard company," said Robinson.
Robinson says following the board hearing, he has already taken steps to make it clear that his car is not a police cruiser. Robinson along with Abney could still face police impersonation changes.