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  • Combination in-house/contract department

    A lot of high profile places in Montreal (Universities, hospitals etc) seem to be going this route. In-house supervisors with contract guards. Anyone work for an organization like this? How does it work?

    I have 1 Officer per shift. If I need extra I sometimes hire contract people but the places Ièm talking about have this arrangement fulltime.
    I enforce rules and regulations, not laws.
    Security Officers. The 1st First Responders.

  • #2
    I had this at a company I used to work for. Myself (the security manager) and 10 security guards were in-house, and 4 guards were from a contract company.

    It worked out fine. My shift supervisors and I were sure to treat the contract guards just like they were one of us. Whenever I had an opening on my staff, the contract guards were given first shot at it. The only worry I had was that the management of the contract company would try to convince my company's bosses that it would be cheaper to get rid of the in-house force and contract out to them.

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    • #3
      2, almost 3 years ago I left the college district PD I work for now for a short time (4 months, during a heavy top to bottom reorganization, I'm lucky to have gotten back in at all....but thats another story ) and took a job with a contract company that had just started a new contract at Lockheed-Martin Missles and Fire Control/Dallas.

      The deal was that it was supposed to be kind of a pilot program, to see how it worked in this one area. If it worked out, I think the Plan was for Lockheed as a whole to start doing it. I don't know how it worked out, but I still see ads for the company in the paper mentioning posistions requiring a Secret level clearnace, so maybe they are still there.

      They kept the Security Director, and the Shift supervisors (Captains), and the Dispatchers, but let go all all the rank and file S/Os (patrol guys as well as gate guards). In addition to the In-house supervisors, each shift had a contract supervisor (given the rank of Sergeant by the company) + on day shift there was a contract Lieutenant who was basically the account manager. It brought new meaning to the term "too many chief's, not enough indians" lol.

      Any new contract will have bumps, I know. But this one was bumpy. At 1st they told us we'd all be armed and the pay would be *almost* what you'd expect on one of the Fed contracts, maybe more as time went on, but we'd make $10.00 per hour until we were all commisioned (those already commisioned would get the higher rate off the bat). When we started working there, however, that changed to "only 1 or 2 armed offcers per shift", so anyone unarmed (most of us) would stay at $10.00 per hour. Needless to say, there were some Pissed S/Os lol. Like I said, I ended up going back to the college, so I didn't care, but a couple guys (who had worked federal contracts before) had come to the company because of the promise of the higher pay. I know a couple guys left because of that.

      It was a good bunch of guys and girls who started that contract, but I didn't like some of the "replacements" that came in after some left. And, neither did the client, some people would be sent off after a few days. When I left, it was becoming a revolving door. The Irony is the company was talking about paying more to get a more stable staff.

      The welcome we got from the client's employees was very mixed. Some of In-House S/Os who were let go were a part of the "family", and there was some resentment directed at us for being there . At one point, while talking to a guy whose ofice was on my patrol route(we carried bar code scanners, Lockheed is a Defense Contractor and has to prove it has effective security) he said as much to me, and I said "I know, but thats the corp suit trying to save money" He said "yay for outsourcing" and we had a good laugh.

      In the end It ended up being the same old formula. Corporation saves money, contract company makes money, Contract Guards get a job where they might not otherwise have had one, but loyal regular In-House Guards get screwed over and the newcomer contract guys face resentment for the clients employees who were friends with the In-House guys......
      Last edited by Black Caesar; 08-30-2006, 04:20 AM.
      ~Black Caesar~
      Corbier's Commandos

      " "The trouble with Socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money." ~Margaret Thatcher

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      • #4
        The "replacements" is old hat. A certain company with a fondness for tan uniforms (that one of our members is "formerly known as") had a fondness for doing something amazingly funny.

        As we all know, Custom Protection Officers are supposed to be either a Criminal Justice Degree graduate or former law enforcement / military only. They are Wackenhut's only armed "Observe and Report Only" security guard job class. (I am ignoring the Global Response Team, since its just Rent-an-Army.)

        My former employer would acquire clients from Tampa's Wackenhut Office because the following scenerio was used frequently on new contracts. I don't know if this is a branch thing, or a national thing, or what.

        New client recieves his new CPO. The CPO has a nice new uniform, new duty rig, new revolver, new handcuffs, and new speedloaders. That's about it. He is a former law enforcement officer or military, he has about 10-20 years in both. In other words, he's career. He is efficent and useful. He is what your paying the company for.

        A month later, he is rotated out for "shift reasons," or something like that. You get someone who's had a uniform for awhile. It still looks OK. They're former law enforcement, but usually a special or reservist or some other non-full time status. He is also working at a smaller pay rate than the first CPO due to his less experience. Company is getting the difference.

        He lasts for about a month or two. He is replaced with a CPO with no LE or military experience, only a criminal justice degree. He's making less money, doesn't really care about being there. Company pockets the difference.

        Finally, you no longer even get a CPO, you get a regular security guard with a gun on. About that time, the client bails, but Wackenhut had the contract for awhile, and they realize its easier to just take the damn guard and wait for the contract to expire.
        Some Kind of Commando Leader

        "Every time I see another crazy Florida post, I'm glad I don't work there." ~ Minneapolis Security on Florida Security Law

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        • #5
          Originally posted by N. A. Corbier
          The "replacements" is old hat. A certain company with a fondness for tan uniforms (that one of our members is "formerly known as") had a fondness for doing something amazingly funny.

          As we all know, Custom Protection Officers are supposed to be either a Criminal Justice Degree graduate or former law enforcement / military only. They are Wackenhut's only armed "Observe and Report Only" security guard job class. (I am ignoring the Global Response Team, since its just Rent-an-Army.)

          My former employer would acquire clients from Tampa's Wackenhut Office because the following scenerio was used frequently on new contracts. I don't know if this is a branch thing, or a national thing, or what.

          New client recieves his new CPO. The CPO has a nice new uniform, new duty rig, new revolver, new handcuffs, and new speedloaders. That's about it. He is a former law enforcement officer or military, he has about 10-20 years in both. In other words, he's career. He is efficent and useful. He is what your paying the company for.

          A month later, he is rotated out for "shift reasons," or something like that. You get someone who's had a uniform for awhile. It still looks OK. They're former law enforcement, but usually a special or reservist or some other non-full time status. He is also working at a smaller pay rate than the first CPO due to his less experience. Company is getting the difference.

          He lasts for about a month or two. He is replaced with a CPO with no LE or military experience, only a criminal justice degree. He's making less money, doesn't really care about being there. Company pockets the difference.

          Finally, you no longer even get a CPO, you get a regular security guard with a gun on. About that time, the client bails, but Wackenhut had the contract for awhile, and they realize its easier to just take the damn guard and wait for the contract to expire.
          Nathan:
          Well said, well said indeed. Bottom line and how much of a service for the least amount of money. Maybe the client won't notice. Right!!
          Enjoy the day,
          Bill

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          • #6
            My first security job after I retired from the military was at Sacramento Municiple Utility District. They had a director of security who we reported to. The contract specifically stated that he had total supervisory control of our guards. This was in 1982, so the concept is nothing new. Our company field supervisors were not allowed on site and the director of security interviewed all perspective officers, no one worked there without his ok.
            Murphy was an optomist.

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            • #7
              How do you have contract security from a private security company report directly to an in-house supervisor? That sounds like a major co-employment issue.
              Find local security jobs at www.securityemploymentservices.com

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              • #8
                Easy. By sending over people and ignoring them. They basically become in-house employees who work for you.

                "Your company may pay your check, but your butt belongs to me."

                Its even funnier when they wear different uniforms and stop thinking they're contract. At a major resort, they did this. Different uniforms, identified themselves as in-house, etc. Too bad the state popped em for not having the company logo on their uniform.
                Some Kind of Commando Leader

                "Every time I see another crazy Florida post, I'm glad I don't work there." ~ Minneapolis Security on Florida Security Law

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                • #9
                  At our hospital all of our contract officers work under the operational control of the in-house supervisors for the shift they are assigned to. The contract site lead officer has say only in administrative matters pertaining to the contract company.

                  Contract officers post assignments and issues like time off are decided by the shift supervisors or in-house lead officers.

                  By the terms of the contract any contract officer assigned to the hospital can not be assigned to any other site the company has. We have exclusive use of the officers on our account.

                  Generally it works without a problem and we don't have the contract officers (who do wear their company uniform) acting as if they're in-house.
                  "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." -Aristotle

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                  • #10
                    ^ That sounds really really bad. Hearing that there's no way I'd want to be working at your site. Not only would I be 2nd rate in the department, but I'd have my bosses on me and in-house guys on my case. That's too much back watching for me. Further being second rate in the department can make you second rate to the employees. I don't like it at all.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by LavianoTS386
                      ^ That sounds really really bad. Hearing that there's no way I'd want to be working at your site. Not only would I be 2nd rate in the department, but I'd have my bosses on me and in-house guys on my case. That's too much back watching for me. Further being second rate in the department can make you second rate to the employees. I don't like it at all.
                      It's not bad at all. No contract officer is treated by us as being second rate. Doesn't fit with the atmosphere we work in. Contract officers are shown the same respect as any officer, staff member, patient or visitor to our hospital. We teach them the posting assignments and we do not need the contract company sending some street supervisor in to us and trying to tell these officers what they need to be doing. They are not experienced in the operations, policies and procedures of our hospital or department.

                      We are a team oriented department and do not scrutinize our contract officers any differently than our in-house officers. They have a streamlined command and do not answer (operationally) to two different chains of command. Plus, any staff member treating our contract officers as lesser beings will find out very quickly how we don't tolerate such disrespect. Our Director has, more than once, hauled up other department employees for making this kind of mistake.

                      Our contract officers are well trained on the posts they are assigned to and are left to accomplish the duties with no more supervision than any in-house officer. To do otherwise would be insulting to them and to us as a department.

                      I know this as I am a lead officer on the shift and prior to joining the in-house side a couple of years ago I was the contract site lead for the company prior to our current one.

                      You shouldn't really judge us until you've seen how it works in our hospital. We have contract officers that have pulled temporary duty ask about being permanently assigned to the account. We pick our officers as carefully as possible and have a low turnover rate among the contract officers.

                      I might also add that there are only three assignments in the hospital that can not be pulled by contract officers - Emergency Department Lead Officer, Shift Lead Officer, and Shift Supervisor. Otherwise they may be assigned to any of the other posts we have.
                      Last edited by aka Bull; 09-02-2006, 12:48 AM.
                      "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." -Aristotle

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                      • #12
                        ^ Putting it that way sounds a whole lot better.

                        In the high-rise building I work at the director is of course in-house and the rest (except for on other guy) are contract. I think the thing I dislike the most about the contract/in-house thing is the seperate uniforms. Our building has several state agencies that contract through Securitas. They have nothing to do with building operations. So with the in-house uniforms, our Allied uniforms and Securitas' (whose uniforms look like dish rags), it's kind of a who's who of security.

                        (For those of you wondering...I work part-time for allied and at the college)

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                        • #13
                          I don't remember if I've brought this up before but I too hate it when contract people wear uniforms as if they were in-house. (Unlike where Nathan is from there is no law to stop it).

                          There is more & more of it in Montreal.
                          I enforce rules and regulations, not laws.
                          Security Officers. The 1st First Responders.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by HotelSecurity
                            I don't remember if I've brought this up before but I too hate it when contract people wear uniforms as if they were in-house. (Unlike where Nathan is from there is no law to stop it).

                            There is more & more of it in Montreal.
                            I don't see any reason why a contract officer should wear anything other than the company uniform. It isn't what uniform he/she wears that makes the difference in a mixed in-house/contract department. The difference stems from how the in-house staff train the contract officers, how the in-house staff integrate them into the team, and how the in-house department insures the contract officers are not being disrespected by the rest of the employees. Good officers, trained properly and supervised fairly are good officers - regardless of the uniform.
                            "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." -Aristotle

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by aka Bull
                              I don't see any reason why a contract officer should wear anything other than the company uniform. It isn't what uniform he/she wears that makes the difference in a mixed in-house/contract department. The difference stems from how the in-house staff train the contract officers, how the in-house staff integrate them into the team, and how the in-house department insures the contract officers are not being disrespected by the rest of the employees. Good officers, trained properly and supervised fairly are good officers - regardless of the uniform.
                              The answer might be in your response. You mentioned their reception by "the rest of the employees". All of the cases I'm talking about involve security duties that deal more with the public than with employees.
                              I enforce rules and regulations, not laws.
                              Security Officers. The 1st First Responders.

                              Comment

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