Denver District Attorney Beth McCann announced Thursday she will charge Matthew Dolloff, a man contracted as private security for 9News at a pair of rallies in Civic Center Park on Oct. 10, with second-degree murder for shooting Lee Keltner following the demonstrations. The Sunday after the shooting, it came to light that Dolloff does not have the license required by the Denver Department of Excise and Licenses for private security guards. That means there is no record he underwent training and didn’t have an authorization to work in plain clothes or carry a gun. 

In addition to the pending homicide charge, Dolloff could face a year in jail and a $999 fine for working as an unlicensed security guard. And the company that employed him -- which so far has remained unidentified -- could face administrative penalties for someone without the proper license. So just what does it take to work legally as private security in Denver?

  • The state of Colorado does not license security guards. Only three cities in the state, including Denver, Colorado Springs and Glendale, require a license to work as a private security guard.

  • Security guards have to pass an FBI background check that covers criminal violations both inside and outside Colorado.

  • Security guards have to complete at least 16 hours of training to receive a new license, and eight hours of training to renew it. Training has to cover security guard duties, use of force, communication protocols and interaction with law enforcement.

  • Security guards have to get specific endorsements from the Department of Excise and Licenses to work in plain clothes and to carry a firearm. 

  • Armed security guards have to wear their department-issued license in a visible place on the outside of their clothes while working, even if they wear plain clothes.

  • Private security employers also have to have a specific endorsement from the Department of Excise and Licenses to provide or authorize the use of weapons by guards. The endorsement authorizes only weapons an employer includes in their application for the endorsement. 

  • Companies that employ security guards in-house, such as bars and clubs that hire their own security, are not exempt from the requirement to have a private security employer license.

  • Security guard companies have to inform the Department of Excise and Licenses if they fire a guard or if a guard they employ resigns. 

  • When a security guard uses force that harms another person, they must immediately contact the Denver Police Department and notify the Department of Excise and Licenses within 72 hours. 

This report uses information from the Denver Department of Excise and Licenses’ published rules governing private security guards and private security employers, as well as from the department’s director of communications, Eric Escudero.