WARNING: LONG POST
This post is to open the floor for comment on a topic that you probably can tell from my forum name is near and dear to my heart - training. It also has other implications, as you will easily see, particularly with respect to the question of arming officers in venues where the risk profile clearly indicates they should be armed.
Specifically, the topic here is this: How can we force state licensing regulators to adopt higher training standards?...and a suggestion for an attack on this problem that I believe has real merit.
THE PROBLEM: I think most of us are agreed that the mandatory minimum training requirements, even in the most aggressively-regulated states, are far too low. If you remove the economic questions and look at training strictly on the basis of what security officers should be taught, it's a slam-dunk to make the case for a 120-hour academy as the minimum. Please note that this is only three weeks, and with one additional week for site-based training, we're talking about taking all of one month to train a security officer. It's hard to see how anyone could argue that this is "too much".
Let's dispense with the question of "observe and report" officers first: Even officers who might initially be assigned to "observe-and-report" positions should be trained to a standard that allows the security company or security department manager to post them to more "response-oriented" positions as manpower needs change and as the security environment changes. This is just good personnel planning - not to have certain people "locked into" certain assignments.
And, when you include customer service, hazardous condition recognition, disaster awareness, and countersurveillance training in the curriculum, all of which are absolutely mandatory even for "observe and report" officers, you're talking about more training than they now receive.
THE CASE AGAINST HIGHER STANDARDS: Having said that, we now must turn around and acknowledge that both security companies and their clients have used the "economic case" for many years as a sufficient argument to keep training mandates low. In reply, those of us who argue for higher standards have generally attacked the "economic case" directly - for instance, by arguing that better selection and training results in better service and lower liability, so that insufficient training investment represents a form of "false economics".
Our case is demonstrably true, yet it remains the fact that this argument has rarely been very successful, even if true. Direct costs are much easier for companies to see and think about than future benefits...or even future liabilities, much less the potential differences in benefits and liabilities that will result from the lower standards versus higher standards.
A NEW AVENUE OF ATTACK: The point I am leading up to is this: Might there not be an argument to be made for our case if we were to attack the low standards on the basis of inadequate occupational safety for security officers as well as the employees or visitors they protect? Before you answer that question, let me say that occupational safety is an area of both public policy and federal/state law that has real teeth behind it, has powerful agencies enforcing it at both federal and state levels, and has a great deal of public support as well, all of which would be pressed into the service of our own case if made from that point of attack, and which are all MISSING from our "false economics" position, which garners no public support at all.
There's nothing bogus about the occupational safety argument, either. Is it not the case that we know very well that officers and other citizens are injured and/or killed every week who might otherwise not be if the security officer who was present had been properly trained and equipped? Is it not the case that the low standards (and resulting presumed ineffectiveness of security officers)actually encourage violent criminals to dismiss the presence of a security officer when the criminal is doing his own "risk assessment"? Interviews with convicted violent felons clearly show that this is the case. They will attack a facility with a security officer present (especially if unarmed) much more readily than they would attack the same facility with a police officer present....period. The difference, of course, is that they know the police officer is much more likely to mount a successful response.
One other point - firefighters have already successfully used this form of attack (occupational safety for themselves) to achieve higher training standards and better equipment, with very good results. The other powerful tool they have used is union pressure.
I think it would be a relatively simple and effective campaign to begin to make the safety case for higher training standards, and such a campaign would be relevant at both the federal (OSHA) and state levels. I'm not sure what the actual current statistics are, but I believe we now have officers being killed and injured at a rate equal to or greater than that of law enforcement - a fact that SHOULD and WOULD receive great national attention if it were occurring, say, to secretaries or factory workers.
Ways to raise the national consciousness and achieve official action on this front are quite evident:
1. Begin to bring lawsuits against security agencies and their clients who impose constraints on behalf of injured and/or deceased officers for promoting unsafe working conditions (among which, training is a recognized aspect, for instance in the area of Hazmat and other work-related dangers, so the precedent is there).
2. Begin to bring this case, specifically, to lawmakers and regulators at both the federal and state levels. PLEASE NOTE - I am talking about regulators in the field of OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY, not SECURITY LICENSING. This is a different group of people, who are relatively indifferent to "we can't afford it" kinds of arguments that businesses like to make, and much more inclined to say "Well, you'd better find a way to afford it, buster, because you sure won't be able to afford the fines!".
3. Hold a National Day of Mourning for slain security officers. During this day, which would of course be well-publicized in the press, all security officers would wear a mourning band (no comments about the cops objecting, please - they wouldn't dare object) and the names of the slain officers, together with a brief vignette about each, would be circulated to all major news outlets, together with an exposee article about the low standards for safety and training that have been promulgated by the state regulators. Expose these people for dereliction of duty, is basically what I'm talking about, although it doesn't have to be put in those terms.
The more I think about it, the more I think this sort of "rear attack" on the occupational safety basis, together with continuing pressure directly on the "false economics" argument, would create a very effective pincer-like action that would catch state security-licensing regulators in a very uncomfortable squeeze, and perhaps even impose mandates on THEM from a different direction - from the folks in the office down the hall from them who regulate workplace safety.
Please think about this for a bit before commenting. Look into the general support and the almost unbelievable power that the domain of occupational safety enjoys (for instance, that OSHA can walk in and shut down the business without further adieu when it finds violations - which not even the IRS can do). Think about the actions that I've suggested, and give me your comments, and perhaps some ideas for other actions that this approach might make possible. Thank you!
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Thread: Forcing The Training Issue
05-09-2007, 10:48 AM #1
Forcing The Training Issue
Last edited by SecTrainer; 05-09-2007 at 11:00 AM.
05-09-2007, 01:39 PM #2Senior Member
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Dickinson Security Management Group, LLC
DSMG Provides a Variety of Software Products and Consulting Services to the Contract Security Industry
05-09-2007, 06:34 PM #3Senior Member
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- Feb 2005
- Haymarket, VA
Gentlemen, hark back to the days when some counties, townships, cities, normally of small size, gave a man a badge, credentials, some without photographs and gun or he had to buy one, and maybe, not always, a uniform and he was now a police officer or deputy sheriff.
Remember also the numerous court cases, federal and state, that were harshly critical of police actions and upon determining the individual or individuals had little or no training, mandated training. At first there was 30, then 60 and then miracle of miracles 120 hours of various types of training. No two agencies had the same type or depth of training.
Then came physical standards and finally, psychological standards that men and finally women had to meet.
In the beginning, some smaller governmental agencies filed for bankruptcy due to the law suits against them and were forced to give up their law enforcement agencies.
It will take several court cases and rulings to accomplish the same for private security.
Enjoy the day,
Last edited by Bill Warnock; 05-09-2007 at 06:38 PM. Reason: Typo
05-09-2007, 09:17 PM #4
I welcome any additional training that may be required, as long as wages are commensurate with the qualifications mandated. In other words, I'm not interested in additional schooling for a 10/hr position. Hopefully the hourly rate will be at a livable wage.Security: Freedom from fear; danger; safe; a feeling of well-being. (Webster's)
05-09-2007, 09:28 PM #5Originally Posted by Mr. Security
The old adage my daddy told me was this: "If anyone can walk in off the street and do the job you're doing, you ain't gonna be paid very much." By raising the training and selection standards, it becomes less possible for "someone to walk in off the street and do my job"...consequently, wages typically rise as companies compete for individuals who have the credentials necessary to work in that state.
Last edited by SecTrainer; 05-09-2007 at 09:41 PM.
05-09-2007, 09:50 PM #6Originally Posted by Bill Warnock
I'm not actually terribly worried about dozens of security companies or their clients going bankrupt because of such actions, nor of losing security positions. At first, there would be a period of adjustment, of course, and perhaps a few severely undercapitalized companies might go under...they probably should. However, the market has a way of accommodating these changes, and it would have to accommodate because all of the drivers for clients to purchase security would still be operant...government mandates, negligence liability, loss risks, etc., etc.
What I fear the most is that, should it be possible to get OSHA to hold hearings on new regulations, there will be no shortage of "security consultant/expert" prostitutes, who depend for their incomes on the security industry and/or its clients, stumbling up to the podium or witness stand in their hooker heels and miniskirts (a frightening thought by itself) to hotly deny, on the strength of miles of charts and graphs, of course, that there are any safety issues, and that the whole thing would die the horrible death that only "special interests" can inflict on higher standards.
Ever watch cable news and some of the so-called "security experts" they dig up for their segments? You'll no doubt see them again in these hearings and in court, and among their credentials they will cite that they have been seen on "numerous television segments"...I know, because that's what's on their websites now. How's that for circular reasoning? "I'm on TV because I'm an expert, and I'm an expert because I've been on TV".
Last edited by SecTrainer; 05-09-2007 at 10:00 PM.
05-10-2007, 10:13 PM #7Senior Member
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- Nov 2005
I absolutely agree with everything you said. As far fetched as everything you said may sound, it truly isn't. The toughest part would be the start, and proving to the general public why this is a very important issue.
This might also be a task for FOPSO if we can get it up and running."To win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the highest skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the highest skill." Sun-Tzu
05-10-2007, 11:32 PM #8
I personaly would love to have more training requirements, however, I must agree:
I welcome any additional training that may be required, as long as wages are commensurate with the qualifications mandated. In other words, I'm not interested in additional schooling for a 10/hr position. Hopefully the hourly rate will be at a livable wage.
We are a market driven labor force. In Ca. it almost cost $800 to $900 to recieve your initial guard card, gas permit, baton training and a firearms permit along with "basic" training. Then the cost of maintaining the permits can cost as much as $500 per every two years. This would not be so bad if the average wage was not $8 to $12 dollars an hour. More training is useless without the wage to go with it. A person who is trained in everything does not give it all for $10. bucks an hour and to be treated like crap from the company they work for. I think this will be a long process from our want of high training standards and the pay to go with it.
05-10-2007, 11:33 PM #9Senior Member
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- Feb 2005
- Haymarket, VA
SecTrainer, I have seen enough TV Security Experts to last a lifetime. As a retired MP colonel told me, "Last month they were hanging siding, today they are in security, glib and ready for exploitation. They announce they can conduct a comprehensive physical security in under two hours and if there is no wind making waves, walk on the water."
Enjoy the day,
05-11-2007, 12:50 AM #10Originally Posted by davis002
We're like the man who says to the stove: "If you'll give me some heat, I'll give you some wood". This man has it all backwards, of course, but that's human nature. We'd rather shiver in the cold than to come to terms with the fact you must put the wood in first (make the investment), and then you'll get the heat (the benefits). This is simply the way stoves work, and they can never work the other way around.
Organizations require the initial members to be visionaries - people who can see the benefits even before they become reality...and who believe in them enough to invest in them, and to work to turn their vision into reality. Sadly, visionaries are rare - and we do everything we can in society to stomp on them whenever we do find them, because they disturb the established order of things, and we can't have that.