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  • $2.1 Million for False Arrest

    From PRNewsNow:

    'In a clear vindication of the rights of California consumers to be free from the abuse of security guards, a Los Angeles Superior Court jury awarded Alicia Benham a total of $2.1 million because she was falsely arrested, incarcerated for a felony, and was threatened with and subjected to violence based on her sex in violation of California's Ralph Civil Rights Act.'

    Here's the link:
    http://www.prnewsnow.com/PR%20News%2...ng%20Walgreens

    If you take the facts presented in the article at face value - this is an example of what not to do. Looks like Wallgreens and S&J Security and Investigations got just what they deserved.
    Retail Security Consultant / Expert Witness
    Co-Author - Effective Security Management 6th Edition

    Contributor to Retail Crime, Security and Loss Prevention: An Encyclopedic Reference

  • #2
    Curt that was a good one. When the security company did not perform a background check on this guard the door was left open for this. Even harder to believe was the "expert testimony" in which the person stated the individual need not have been the subject of a BI.
    In providing information to the police, which in this instance was a lie, I can only assume the State will bring charges of perjury. Failing that, lying to the police.
    Enjoy the day,
    Bill

    Comment


    • #3
      Bill, it appears that the 'expert witness' testified to that fact in court. I want to find out who the expert was.
      Retail Security Consultant / Expert Witness
      Co-Author - Effective Security Management 6th Edition

      Contributor to Retail Crime, Security and Loss Prevention: An Encyclopedic Reference

      Comment


      • #4
        Yep, $1.2 million, that pretty much covers the first expense in this case.

        Then the state gets involved, going after the guard company for using a guard w/o a guard card, who has a felony record on top of it.

        The guard is most certainly going down on charges too.

        All this over exchanging sodas. Nice. Another black eye for all security, and another royal screw-up from my beautiful state of California.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by bpdblue View Post
          Yep, $1.2 million.....

          All this over exchanging sodas. Nice......
          Yeah, same thought. I also agree w/ Curtis that they got what they deserved. This ties in w/ the thread on citizen’s arrest. Did you say citizen's arrest? $$$$$$$$
          Security: Freedom from fear; danger; safe; a feeling of well-being. (Webster's)

          Comment


          • #6
            Hooboy - black eye for security is right.

            Wonder what the victim will do with the $73.84 that she'll get out of the $2.1 million after her attorneys get done subtracting their "fees and expenses"?

            I got a thing the other day because I just happen to have a certain credit card that makes me a member of a class action. The award was $332 million. The attorneys filing the lawsuit are going to get nearly $100 million. The "little people" like me get 25 bucks. Our legal system, particularly on the civil side, is disgusting.
            Last edited by SecTrainer; 12-09-2007, 09:44 AM.
            "Every betrayal begins with trust." - Brian Jacques

            "I can't predict the future, but I know that it'll be very weird." - Anonymous

            "There is nothing new under the sun." - Ecclesiastes 1:9

            "History, with all its volumes vast, hath but one page." - Lord Byron

            Comment


            • #7
              When I was running my own company, what I paid my staff was more than many companies charged their clients. Correct licences, award rates, full insurance, labour oncosts, uniforms, equipment, etc - all add up and for the piddly amount of profit made per officer it was not worth trying to cut corners when it could bite you in the backside like this event has. To make a greater profit you either raise your fees, cut pay rates or scrimp on equipment and I can tell you now the amount of night club staff who were working unlicenced last year was staggering.

              Often the host company will then subcontract out the work to someone else who will make their $5.00 an hour profit by paying cash to some foreign student who is going to be happy to work for $8.00 US x 14 hours x 5 days a week (nights and weekends) when they should be earning a pro-rata amount of $19.00 US an hour (including penalties).

              The only winners here are the law firms and everyone else who can get themselves involved in a case to get their thousands of dollars worth from each claim. My wife to be had an unfair dismissal claim go through for 4 weeks wages and after her lawyer took her cut she ended up with 2 days pay - enough to cover 2 weeks rent at the time.
              "Keep your friends close and your enemies even closer" Sun Tzu

              Comment


              • #8
                It's always dangerous to make generalizations, of course, but it seems to me that there is much more in the way of cheesy practices, corner-cutting and downright malfeasance with outsourcing security vendors than there is with in-house security programs.

                It never seems to occur to a company that is considering moving to an outsourced solution to ask themselves this simple question: "If it costs me $20 an hour to field a qualified (meaning: properly selected, trained, equipped and supervised) in-house officer, AND, assuming the vendor must add profit to his costs, just how is Sleazebag Security Company going to provide the SAME quality of program for a billing rate of $17 an hour?"

                The simple truth is that the cost advantages that many vendors claim to have over in-house programs either don't exist at all, or they simply don't add up to the $3 per hour difference. Either something is going to get cut or done on the cheap, you will be lied to about the services you are actually receiving, OR you're looking at a "loss-leader" billing rate that will rise significantly when it comes time for contract renewal.

                The use of "loss-leader" rates is one disgusting and, in my opinion, unethical practice in the vendor industry. A vendor that can afford to do so (usually the big ones) will quote an initial rate that they actually lose money on, driving smaller and perhaps even more conscientious companies out of the market. These scavengers view the loss as a cost of "purchasing" market space, just like advertising and other forms of marketing. Then, once they've hogged the market space and driven their smaller competitors out of business, their clients will discover that they have fewer choices when contract renewal rolls around, and no way to deal with the new higher rates except to capitulate or start up their own in-house programs again. Since starting up their own program again will usually involve even higher costs (starting with finding a new security manager, having fired theirs), very few will choose this option.
                "Every betrayal begins with trust." - Brian Jacques

                "I can't predict the future, but I know that it'll be very weird." - Anonymous

                "There is nothing new under the sun." - Ecclesiastes 1:9

                "History, with all its volumes vast, hath but one page." - Lord Byron

                Comment


                • #9
                  101% agreed Sec Trainer. Taking over this role I fired all contracted security staff because of the quality of staff and those not even turning up or sling-shotting from site to site to pretend someone is on site. I then got as many "MUM S/O's" who work school hours and are happy for the 6.5 hours a shift to be home for their kids from school. These ladies are perfect for our stores and happy to be paid 8 hours to keep moving around key risk stores. But it costs us less than running it through a contract company as they are paid a premium to work for us but still we are 12-14% cheaper than going through a contract company - besides female S/O's are very hard to find.
                  "Keep your friends close and your enemies even closer" Sun Tzu

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Sub-contracting out could be considered by many to be a disgusting practice also, from the point-of-view of the consumer hiring/contracting A1 Security on the Friday only to see 'Bottom Feeder Security' working the contract the following Monday would seem a little inappropriate... something that could be likened to buying an F100 pickup only to be left riding a Vespa scooter!
                    "We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give" - Winston Churchill

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by SecTrainer;47619[I
                      ]'It's always dangerous to make generalizations, of course, but it seems to me that there is much more in the way of cheesy practices, corner-cutting and downright malfeasance with outsourcing security vendors than there is with in-house security programs.

                      It never seems to occur to a company that is considering moving to an outsourced solution to ask themselves this simple question: "If it costs me $20 an hour to field a qualified (meaning: properly selected, trained, equipped and supervised) in-house officer, AND, assuming the vendor must add profit to his costs, just how is Sleazebag Security Company going to provide the SAME quality of program for a billing rate of $17 an hour?"'[/I]
                      Here's what I wrote last May when I was asked about the savings I experienced when switching from in-house to outsourced shoplifter apprehension services.

                      Savings consisted of:

                      Salaries/Benefits: (Monthly) In-house - $28,000 Contract - $15,500

                      Company Vehicles: (Yearly) $50,000

                      Reduced Liability: In the years I used contract services there was one "nonsense" suit settled for $500 by the contract company. This was not the case with in-house staff. I won't divulge figures here.

                      I wrote the policy/procedure manual that was followed by the contract company staff. I could have any contract employee removed.

                      Shoplift apprehensions increased an average of 200 per month, therefore Civil Demand income sharply increased. I was able to take the savings and invest it in programs that further saved the company money.
                      Retail Security Consultant / Expert Witness
                      Co-Author - Effective Security Management 6th Edition

                      Contributor to Retail Crime, Security and Loss Prevention: An Encyclopedic Reference

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Curtis Baillie View Post
                        Here's what I wrote last May when I was asked about the savings I experienced when switching from in-house to outsourced shoplifter apprehension services.

                        Savings consisted of:

                        Salaries/Benefits: (Monthly) In-house - $28,000 Contract - $15,500

                        Company Vehicles: (Yearly) $50,000

                        Reduced Liability: In the years I used contract services there was one "nonsense" suit settled for $500 by the contract company. This was not the case with in-house staff. I won't divulge figures here.

                        I wrote the policy/procedure manual that was followed by the contract company staff. I could have any contract employee removed.

                        Shoplift apprehensions increased an average of 200 per month, therefore Civil Demand income sharply increased. I was able to take the savings and invest it in programs that further saved the company money.
                        Yes, I've seen this before and admit that it raised some questions in my mind, so I might as well ask them now.

                        First, I have a little difficulty understanding how there would be reduced liability or improved performance, presuming that you would have been the one to write the manual for either contract or in-house security, and presuming also that you would have had the power to have an in-house officer removed just as you did a contract officer.

                        There is a myth that it is harder to fire employees than to remove contract personnel, but in the case of at-will employees this is simply not true if a company just knows its labor law. All you need is the appropriate policies in place and documentation. I have fired officers on the spot without ever once having any repercussions, but I did it right, and they had violated clear policies that provided for instant termination. In other cases, it was necessary to step through the "progressive discipline" procedure established by the company, but this had its benefits too, because it actually saved us some very good officers. This, of course, is the whole point of having progressive discipline.

                        The exception in terms of firing at-will would be a union situation, of course, but a union contract would also likely hinder a vendor's client from removing an officer at will as well.

                        The point is, these two things (procedures and the ability to remove bad or ineffective officers) being the same either way, why would there be any difference in performance and/or liability? I must not be seeing something because it just doesn't make sense to me.

                        I can think of "reasons" a vendor's staff might make more arrests, but they are bad ones. For instance, in-house staff might be more reluctant to deal with employee theft than contracted staff. I say this is a bad "reason" for poor LPO performance because it isn't difficult at all to spot such behavior by the LPOs, nor to get them to see the light of day on this excuse. Ditto in the case of staff who might begin to collude with friends or outsiders.

                        Second, I'd have to see the details of a 45% reduction in salaries and benefits before concluding that it was derived entirely from staffing efficiencies, and not at the expense of LPOs by way of lower wages and/or cuts in benefits vis-a-vis the in-house program. Certainly, this is not typical of the savings that most companies would realize in labor costs - again assuming that the same hiring, training, equipment and supervisory quality standards are maintained. And, if there was that much "fat" in the in-house service program (unneeded officers, too much supervisory staff, etc.), they could have realized at least some of those savings without contracting, simply by trimming the fat themselves.

                        A company switching to contract services is very lucky in most cases to realize true labor savings of 20 - 25% with a contract service (unless there is a drastic reduction in personnel quality)...and even those savings are usually only realized during the early years of a multiyear contract. Toward the middle and late years of such contracts, the typical savings will dwindle to around 5 to 10%, presuming that there is a maximum turnover or retention clause with penalties, and a clause providing for required annual personnel wage increases. Any good contract will have both of these clauses, of course, in order to be sure the contractor is paying its personnel properly and minimizing turnover.

                        The only other place I can think of for such savings to come from would be staffing flexibility, i.e. not having to have "headroom" with extra in-house staff in order to meet increased demands during special shopping seasons, etc. A contract service can provide extra people on a temporary basis just while they are needed...but then you get a different set of problems, and I can tell you stories about those. "Reduced liability" is certainly not a feature of temporary people, in my experience.

                        Vendors tout efficiencies, and it is sometimes true that a vendor can be more efficient in some ways than in-house programs - "sometimes" being the operative word. However, it is also true that in many cases what clients are comparing the vendor to is, in fact, a highly inefficient, wasteful in-house program. If so, the best solution very often is not to jump ship, but to trim your own in-house sails because a vendor will have no real advantage over a well-run, highly-efficient in-house program when it comes to other advantages of in-house programs that a vendor cannot hope to match.
                        Last edited by SecTrainer; 12-10-2007, 09:13 AM.
                        "Every betrayal begins with trust." - Brian Jacques

                        "I can't predict the future, but I know that it'll be very weird." - Anonymous

                        "There is nothing new under the sun." - Ecclesiastes 1:9

                        "History, with all its volumes vast, hath but one page." - Lord Byron

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by SecTrainer View Post
                          I have a little difficulty understanding how there would be reduced liability, presuming that you would have been the one to write the manual for either contract or in-house security, and presuming also that you would have had the power to have an in-house officer removed just as you did a contract officer.

                          These things being the same either way, why the difference?

                          I'd have to see the details of a 45% reduction in salaries and benefits before concluding that it was derived from staffing efficiencies, rather than at the expense of the LPOs by way of lower wages and/or cuts in benefits. Certainly, this is atypical of the difference that most companies would realize in labor costs between in-house and contract personnel WHEN the same hiring, training, equipment and supervisory standards are maintained. If there was that much "fat" in the in-house service program (unneeded officers, too much supervisory staff, etc.), they could have realized at least some of those savings without contracting, simply by trimming the fat themselves.

                          A company switching to contract services is very lucky in most cases to realize true labor savings of 20% with a contract service...and even that is usually only during the early years of a multiyear contract. Toward the middle and late years of such contracts, the typical experience is that the savings dwindle to around 5 to 10%.
                          Of course, my company was not absolved from liability, but as long as I was enforcing the terms of the contract, training requirements and performing all of the necessary due delligence, the contract company would bear the brunt of the liability.

                          In the case of savings to my company, the in-house staff salaries and benefits were substantially more than a uniformed contract security company as you are describing. These were very high salaried management positions with higher that industry standard benefits. You were not comparing apples to apples.

                          In the case of the recent Wallgreens - S&J Security court decision it appears that Wallgreens has a equal or greater liability as it would appear that they failed to perform their due delligence.
                          Retail Security Consultant / Expert Witness
                          Co-Author - Effective Security Management 6th Edition

                          Contributor to Retail Crime, Security and Loss Prevention: An Encyclopedic Reference

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Food for thought

                            Something I was discussing just now with my crew was:

                            1. If you get a great team of contract S/O's - they can resign and you don't know WHOM you will end up with. Also you have less control over WHOM is replaced and their aptitude to the work involved.

                            2. Contract staff just come and go - they don't care if your company makes any NP for the month / year - provided they get paid.

                            3. Employees can become stale / stagnant and it is up to the management team to ensure this does not happen.

                            4. Both employees and contract S/O's will steal the eye from a needle if they wanted to and it is easy to blame someone else

                            5. Collusion between employees for dishonesty can be more common than documented.
                            "Keep your friends close and your enemies even closer" Sun Tzu

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              "Incredibly, the expert witness hired by defendants testified that the President of the California's Bureau of Security and Investigative Services informed him that loss prevention agents do not have to be licensed. The jury disbelieved this testimony and found that the law requires loss prevention agents to be licensed, which requires finger prints to be sent to the California Department of Justice and the FBI."

                              I know this is just a news article but I find it funny that a jury would "disbelieve" the "Expert" witness and then "find" that the law says something different from the experts testimony. Where did they "find" the Law?

                              I could be wrong, but as far as I am aware, LP agents are NOT required to be licensed here in CA. If anyone knows the Law that requires it I would love to know about it, I have a lot of friends who work as LP's and they did not get any license.

                              That being said, if the LP is employed by a Private Patrol Operator as a security guard, then they are required to have a guard card which includes the background checks.

                              Comment

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