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  • Guard Safety...?

    Maybe it's just the military mind talking out of my 4th point of contact... but why does the industry in general not provide for protection of it's guards, given that they'd be the first thing to go if a facility that is a HVT was targeted?
    Overmotivated and Underpaid... I'm a Security supervisors wet dream...

  • #2
    It's called being cheap!

    This is just my opinion, and unfortunatly it is not a nice one.

    I think that like most companies, guard companies / contracters are in the business solely to make a buck. Their base guards are nothing but a means to an end, and that end is to make a buck.

    To provide more protection to the base guard (base = lowest paid, unarmed / un-weaponed, guard) would cost money, and therefore lower profits. If the guard company provided radio's and phones, the associated costs would cuase them to have to charge the client more money to equal the equasion of the same guard without that equipment. (Personally I think ALL guard companies should be REQUIRED to issue bullet proof vests, handcuffs, flashlights, working phones or radio's (and the communication device Must be able to contact the police on its' own, without having to go through any one else first). This list includes all guards, base included.)

    The same thing can be said of armed vs. unarmed. (armed= any or all of the following: firearms, batons, mace). I know some companies do not want an armed guard, and that's fine for them, but what about the circumstances that places the guard in while working at that location. If it would be in the interest of the guard at that location to be armed, would the person from the guard company argue that the guard should be armed, or just say "that's fine" to no weapons, just to get the contract. I'll let you guess what my opinion is. What's yours.

    So to put it simply, the value of a guard to a guard company is what the client is willing to pay out, not what the person who is the guard is worth as a person. In other words it's MONEY, MONEY, MONEY.

    Just a note. I would love responses to my little posting here, for or against it.

    I would just ask that you would put in your response if your are the guard on the beat, or an upper management type in your answers. This will not be to condem anyone, but if the guards on the beat overwhelmingly answer one way, and the upper management type answer another, maybe it's time for upper management to start thinking in a new direction!

    Comment


    • #3
      I often wonder the same...

      Is it the cost of equipment and training?

      Who decides what a High Value Target is and to who?

      The fact that it hasn't happened (here) yet? I hate that answer the most!

      It's one thing to have security to please an insurance company so a company can say 'yup we have security', or to act as a deterrent as well as actually prevent/catch theft and the big one really protect the company, it's interests, physical property, employee's and so on.

      I think the security personnel should be equipped to do such, it just makes sence.
      I'm the guy you don't want to be around when your doing something wrong, but you can't wait for me to get there when your down, to fix you up...

      If you don't stand behind our troops, feel free to stand in front of them.

      Comment


      • #4
        Security in most circumstances is not to "catch the bad guys," "enforce laws," or do anything more than have a paid observer.

        The cheaper that the company can provide a paid observer, the higher profit the company makes.

        People say, "Guards should be able to have ______________." In this case, the firm would have to not only equip the guard (its now mandatory equipment), but they'd have to pay for the guard training in that equipment (else get hit with a failure to train or liability claim when something bad happens).

        When you factor in all the money that a company would have to spend, you find that they won't be able to pull 20 dollars of profit in off the account.
        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

        Comment


        • #5
          If the guard is only a glorified receptionist, and not expected to do ANYTHING, then, maybe, they don't need any extra equipment.

          But if the guard is in uniform, and they are expected to make rounds, make any contact with the public, ect, they should have the previously listed equipment. Even if their job was just the old "observe and report," bad persons might want to make that hard to do.

          Mr CORBIER, may I take it you are from the upper management side of the business?

          Comment


          • #6
            Just curious as how soon we forget our PPE (Personal Protection Equipment) which in my case is provided in a Velcro wallet containing 2 pairs of latex gloves, face shield, 3 alcohol preps and a couple of bandaids I include for minor cuts and abrasions. These cost me $10.00 and these were given my crew to carry in their pockets (not on belts since sometimes you don't wear a duty belt) but were there to assist with difficult situations and 1st aid calls. These kits came from a non-profit ambulance service of volunteers and It was the best $1000.00 (got them from my brigade manager cousin) who made a few dollars for their station from the sale of these items).

            I know of some contractors who would not even supply notebooks, pens or anything else for their site guards who would be provided with no shelter in the case of rain or would be told - bring a black jacket to wear tonight and be shivering cold in winter.
            "Keep your friends close and your enemies even closer" Sun Tzu

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Alaska Security View Post
              Maybe it's just the military mind talking out of my 4th point of contact... but why does the industry in general not provide for protection of it's guards, given that they'd be the first thing to go if a facility that is a HVT was targeted?
              1. We have no unified voice in this industry
              2. Reread above

              The industry may not protect us per say, but their are laws that do. I am thinking of the Occupational Health & Safety Act, do the States Gov't have one? I know Ontario does, and in it there is a right to refuse to work section.

              Young workers 18 to 25 are the most at risk, they often take more chances or are unsure of the job expectations, as well as possibly less trained. Many times over the years I have seen new Contract Security Staff sent to a site without much training.
              Quote me as saying I was mis-quoted.
              Groucho Marx

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Eric View Post
                1. We have no unified voice in this industry
                2. Reread above

                The industry may not protect us per say, but their are laws that do. I am thinking of the Occupational Health & Safety Act, do the States Gov't have one? I know Ontario does, and in it there is a right to refuse to work section.

                Young workers 18 to 25 are the most at risk, they often take more chances or are unsure of the job expectations, as well as possibly less trained. Many times over the years I have seen new Contract Security Staff sent to a site without much training.
                Eric:
                As a consultant I observed and reported to the client violations of our federal laws dealing with health and safety issues. Part of my contractural arrangements with the client was the proviso that such violations would be disclosed to the client and if the client chose to ignore violations, I would report them to the appropriate authority. The client cannot simply be allowed, as a course of action, flood the moat and raise the drawbridge. Under penalty of law, 18USC Section 4, Misprision of a Felony, I reported what I saw as having first person knowledge of their existance.
                As John Ruth, a health and safety consultant, bluntly puts it, "If you don't want to see the genie, don't rub the ([email protected]#$%^&*) lamp." GSA and a couple of prime contractors working for them were the most distressed.
                All of us who are professionals in this business are obligated to do the same. I freely admit that sentiment is not shared by all in the community.
                Enjoy the day,
                Bill

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by bpdblue View Post
                  If the guard is only a glorified receptionist, and not expected to do ANYTHING, then, maybe, they don't need any extra equipment.

                  But if the guard is in uniform, and they are expected to make rounds, make any contact with the public, ect, they should have the previously listed equipment. Even if their job was just the old "observe and report," bad persons might want to make that hard to do.

                  Mr CORBIER, may I take it you are from the upper management side of the business?
                  Nope, I'm just extremely good at rehashing what the largest companies in the world have told Congress, the New York Times, USA Today, and their clients.

                  Notice how I said "twenty dollar profit." The only way you can make such an obscenely high profit margin is by:

                  - Providing no training.
                  - Conducting no background checks. (The state does that anyway.)
                  - Limiting the liability of the contract to observe and report to client.
                  - Paying low wages.
                  - Investing nothing or little in employees so nothing is lost in turnover.
                  - Showing the above to the insurance company.

                  The concept of actually protecting people has been thrown to the wayside by many companies. These companies are usually started for the express purpose of selling them to a large national or multi-national security company.

                  There are countless articles in newspapers through the years in which multi-national firms specifically state their position on training: "We do not need this level of training (State Mandated) for security guards. We provide our own training depending on client. The guard at an open air construction site doesn't need to know public relations or CPR."

                  Everything a firm does is about money. If they can strip everything that you might think security is, to a core "provide a uniformed person to observe situations, report them to the client or our supervisor, and do nothing else," then you have maximized your profit.

                  That means that if the client wants something extra, you can charge them extra to get it. If the client wants the guard to provide first aid, then the client will pay for guard first aid training. If the client wants the guard to arrest people, then the client will pay extra for guards who are trained to arrest people. (Although, usually, the larger firms will forbid this. The risk of having someone at 6-10 dollars an hour with a 4 hour cursory training in criminal law physically touching someone is usually too high for their insurers.)

                  As far as every security guard having handcuffs, one has to ask: Why for? Their employers do not want them to touch people, let alone handcuff them. They do not want them arresting people or enforcing laws. They want them to notice the activity, leave the area, and call 911.

                  There is a fundamental disconnect between how individual guards think and how firms think. Mr. Security, for example, works a strictly "observe and report" type function. He used to not even wear a uniform. He is not to throw people off his property. He is not to touch people. He is not to argue or become confrontational with people.

                  His sole job is to observe and report. So, why would his company give him equipment? Why would OSHA see an occupational hazard of physical injury against "Security and Gaming Agents" when the vast majority are not supposed to become confrontational?

                  A lot of people seem to think I advocate this type of security. I don't. I simply understand it. I understand how companies make obscene levels of profit by paying low, investing nothing in their employees, minimizing their training requirements and risk profile by ensuring that they only do two things, and charging variable rates depending on the task at hand (lowballing to kill competition, or charging huge rates on 'premier' contracts to gain more profit.)

                  Now, for the kicker: If this is security, then how many people are paying for it, and actually wanted protection?

                  Edit: Oh, I forgot to mention. If the guard, for whatever reason, does become injured or attacked... There's a good chance that unless it makes the news, the guard will be reprimanded for obviously becoming confrontational. The guard, when faced with the possibility of attack, is supposed to run very fast. I have seen several firms where if you fight back, you are fired because the aggressor may sue. Not will, may.

                  I'll have to find it again, but reading multi-national security company's post orders is truly enlightening as to how they see the job. It boils down to: "You are to deter through presence. If your deterrence has failed, leave the area of the incident immediately and contact your supervisor who will know what to do." Then a few warnings about becoming confrontational may be dangerous and you should never do it, refer all problems to police.
                  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

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Well, at least I'm better off in that department.

                    Duty to retreat, but duty to act if someone's in danger.

                    Active shooter in a facility? I'm going IN. As per HIGHER.

                    Shmuck simply shooting at company property, not endangering anything but a static object? observe, engage if threatened, report report report.

                    Trespassers get treated as they treat us.. cooperative, we take notes do a report you go on your way.. uncooperative or suspicous, chances are you're actually leaving in a squad car.
                    Overmotivated and Underpaid... I'm a Security supervisors wet dream...

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Alaska Security View Post
                      Well, at least I'm better off in that department.

                      Duty to retreat, but duty to act if someone's in danger.

                      Active shooter in a facility? I'm going IN. As per HIGHER.

                      Shmuck simply shooting at company property, not endangering anything but a static object? observe, engage if threatened, report report report.

                      Trespassers get treated as they treat us.. cooperative, we take notes do a report you go on your way.. uncooperative or suspicous, chances are you're actually leaving in a squad car.
                      To truly understand this, lets go beyond the obvious, someone with a gun. What do you do if:

                      - A person is in an unauthorized area, and refuses to leave?
                      - A person is breaking into a car in the company parking lot?
                      - A person is leaving a package by the guard shack?
                      - A person is verbally confrontational with you?

                      Shootings are easy. Its the little things that you can tell if you're there to protect something, or to provide "security."
                      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

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by N. A. Corbier View Post
                        To truly understand this, lets go beyond the obvious, someone with a gun. What do you do if:

                        - A person is in an unauthorized area, and refuses to leave?
                        - A person is breaking into a car in the company parking lot?
                        - A person is leaving a package by the guard shack?
                        - A person is verbally confrontational with you?

                        Shootings are easy. Its the little things that you can tell if you're there to protect something, or to provide "security."

                        Unauthorized area, refuses to leave, call troopers and contain the situation. Take the subject into custody if required for individual safety, either mine or theirs

                        breaking into a car in the company parking lot... considering the only parking lot is right outside the front gate, I'll call the troopers and intervene as well. I can arrest if I witness a misdemeanor, or know fully well an individual commited a violent felony.

                        Leaving a package, package gets searched.

                        Verbally confrontational? verbally defuse the situation as much as possible while calling for backup. If he becomes an actual physical THREAT and I have no means to leave the situation, then he gets some good training on how to get cuffed.
                        Last edited by Alaska Security; 11-11-2007, 07:24 PM.
                        Overmotivated and Underpaid... I'm a Security supervisors wet dream...

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Sounds like a good plan to me Alaska!

                          But many other places don't see it that way and simply want a "warm body" in a uniform to give others a sense of security no mater how false it may be, as opposed to actually providing security to people property and interests.

                          Nathan hit the nail on the head reminding us of the $20.00 profit... I like to look at things like those types of "security" if you can morally and ethically call it that as a "duct tape solution", works for a while but will eventually cause even more damage.
                          I'm the guy you don't want to be around when your doing something wrong, but you can't wait for me to get there when your down, to fix you up...

                          If you don't stand behind our troops, feel free to stand in front of them.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Sorry for wrong assumption Mr CORBIER

                            Mr CORBIER, I apologize for guessing you were upper management in my last post on this thread.

                            That being said, in all your posts you come across extremely educated and articulate on the subjects I have seen you write posts on, so it appeared to me that you would fall into that category, and I would say that I think most other posters here would not have disagreed with my guess.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Alaska Security View Post
                              Leaving a package, package gets searched.
                              It could very well be an explosive device... and you're going to touch/move it?

                              I'm all for Government mandated training... but in reality (at least here anyway) the tab is picked up by the employee, though this can be claimed as a legitimate taxation deduction

                              Occupational Health & Safety regulations are certainly a step in the right direction... but whilst fly-by-night security firms exist (primarily to cater to the penny pinching clients) the issue of poor training, equipment & conditions will continue to be a problem IMHO
                              "We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give" - Winston Churchill

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