State Sues Local Security Firm for Lack of License
An organization hired earlier this year by Brooklyn Park to act as violence interrupters is now facing a state lawsuit for providing private security without a license.
The city withdrew its contract with Men In Black Inc. after learning the group was being investigated by the state.
The Minnesota Board of Private Detective and Protective Agent Services denied the firm a license in 2021 because one of the applicants was convicted of illegally possessing a gun.
The board alleges that Men In Black continued to provide security services over the next two years despite not having a license. The company was formerly called Men In Black Security, but now officially goes by Men In Black De-Escalation Specialists.
“When they’re doing crowd control and when they are providing for security of people and persons, that’s a security function,” said Rick Hodsdon, the chair of the Minnesota Board of Private Detective and Protective Agent Services. “And when you’re doing it for compensation, which they are as evidenced clearly by their bid to the city, they were going to be making hundreds of thousands of dollars had they been accepted. That’s a for-pay security function, for which our board believes they need to be licensed.”
The board filed a lawsuit earlier this month requiring the company to either comply with state law or to stop providing security.
The group has until Christmas to respond to the lawsuit.
“The Minnesota Legislature has long ago said if you’re going to provide a security function, we want to make sure of the quality of the people who are engaged in this behavior,” said Hodsdon. “Just like we don’t let criminals become police officers, and we require our police officers to be properly trained and vetted and held accountable. That’s the purpose of licensing private security.”
Men In Black did not immediately reply to a message seeking comment. However, the firm told CCX News earlier this year they don’t believe they need a license for the type of work they do.