Firm Behind Palisades Patrol Gets License Suspension for Violations

The Company Allegedly Took Actions Which Could’ve Mistook it for Law Enforcement

By Zach Armstrong

Gates Security, a West Coast private security firm that patrols several California localities including the Pacific Palisades as “Palisades Patrol”, is undergoing a 60-day suspension of its patrol license over numerous violations.

An October court hearing found that evidence showed Gates operated under an unauthorized business name, took actions that could’ve made civilians mistake them for law enforcement and acted outside of its authority granted from its license or permit. The complainant also accused three examples of firearm misuse by the firm, but there was insufficient evidence or legal bases on those claims, according to the decision.

The license suspension became effective on Nov. 17 and is set to last until Jan. 15, according to the administrative decision. 

A ranger of the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority investigated the security firm after receiving complaints from his own personnel in 2022. Among his findings were Gates’ staff wearing uniforms with “Ranger” written on the back, vehicles marked without signifying it was private security, potentially illegal use of long guns and a resemblance in uniform to members of the U.S. Border Patrol and LAPD.

After a hearing of this evidence led an administrative judge to order Gates comply with an ISO, an investigator and a separate ranger found some of its patrol cars not in compliance by possessing long guns and not showing visible lettering that they were private security. 

Gates CEO Scott Wagenseller and another Gates employee testified that vehicles without correct signage were only used for marketing events, that certain photographs showing officers without badges were “staged”, and they were willing to assist law enforcement wherever they felt their services would help.

Since a license was granted by the bureau to Gates in 2000, it has been able to operate under alternative names including Palisades Patrol, Venice Patrol, Malibu Patrol, Brentwood Patrol, Conejo Valley Patrol and Swag Corporation.

in Hard, News
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