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  • Security Guards Blow Whistle on Deficiencies

    Several current and former Wackenhut security guards who worked at the Homeland Security Department headquarters spoke out to the Associated Press with numerous allegations about inadequate training and inadequate or incorrect resources.

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/washing...security_x.htm
    "We appreciate all the hard work you've done, the dedicated hours you have worked, and the lives you have saved. However, since this is your third time being late to work, we are terminating your employment here."

  • #2
    The larger a security company is, the harder it is to maintain the high standards the company needs. There are many high profile sites that could benefit from a smaller, well-managed company. I doubt that N.A.'s company will have such problems (as long as it doesn't grow too fast ).
    Security: Freedom from fear; danger; safe; a feeling of well-being. (Webster's)

    Comment


    • #3
      Even large companies can operate properly if consistent supervision is in place. Complacency and lack of supervision seem to be the bane of large statewide, nationwide, or international firms.
      "We appreciate all the hard work you've done, the dedicated hours you have worked, and the lives you have saved. However, since this is your third time being late to work, we are terminating your employment here."

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by 1stWatch
        Even large companies can operate properly if consistent supervision is in place. Complacency and lack of supervision seem to be the bane of large statewide, nationwide, or international firms.
        Indeed. The reason my company won't be like that is because I would have time and resources to ensure it. Ie: Actually manage and supervise. That means, of course, that I have to hire a night supervisor who equally wants to manage and supervise, and is not afraid to do so without upsetting me.

        Huge companies have politics, and other issues, that the supervisory chain either dosen't want to, or is afraid to, do their job. That's where you get the problems.
        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
          Upgrades

          I understand the frustration concerning the lack of proper training. However, the article refers to security work. The standards cannot be as they should- there would not be enough personnel to maintain security or keep the contract (standards in law enforcement and security or lacking for obvious reasons- I speak from many years of experience in being the 10% that exceeds all standards and should actully be there protecting the site or community)

          The article also mentioned problems with posts, buildings, fences, etc. Upgrades/hardening of the site is the responsibility of the facility (DHS in this case). This is a repeat story of government facilities and posts all over the country. Not enough money, time or other resources to properly upgrade and protect.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by N. A. Corbier
            Huge companies have politics, and other issues, that the supervisory chain either dosen't want to, or is afraid to, do their job. That's where you get the problems.
            Problems also arise from sheer burnout. The supervisors and patrol officers at large companies are constantly overworked and have to deal with weeding out masses of morons who have challenges receiving training, lowering of standards in the screening process, yet standards are still demanded of the supervisors, low pay, and the general mentality that all are treated equally - like sh!t. After being burdened daily with clients screaming about things such as poor service or unreasonable demands and having low quality field staff, the upper management stops giving a damn too after a while. After a time, they do whatever they can to keep a client, whether happy or not, and they resort to less, um, legal or ethical things to do to make money such as insurance fraud, embezzlement, hiring of illegal aliens, or even dealing with the drug trade behind closed doors.

            The company I worked for as a supervisor was just like this. They would go through a different patrol supervisor every one to two years. Six months of supervisor experience there was just like two years somewhere else just because of the various responsibilities and workload. People would leave, other untrained people would come in, and they would be the new fresh meat. One long term supervisor, an excellent leader and trainer, who was there for nearly three years had a nervous breakdown and ended up in the hospital. The last I heard he moved out to the backwoods area of Arkansas to get away from city life altogether. Then again, that's just what I heard..
            (ramble ramble)
            "We appreciate all the hard work you've done, the dedicated hours you have worked, and the lives you have saved. However, since this is your third time being late to work, we are terminating your employment here."

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by 1stWatch
              Even large companies can operate properly if consistent supervision is in place. Complacency and lack of supervision seem to be the bane of large statewide, nationwide, or international firms.
              Granted. They seem to be the exception rather than the rule.
              Security: Freedom from fear; danger; safe; a feeling of well-being. (Webster's)

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by 1stWatch
                Problems also arise from sheer burnout. The supervisors and patrol officers at large companies are constantly overworked and have to deal with weeding out masses of morons who have challenges receiving training, lowering of standards in the screening process, yet standards are still demanded of the supervisors, low pay, and the general mentality that all are treated equally - like sh!t. After being burdened daily with clients screaming about things such as poor service or unreasonable demands and having low quality field staff, the upper management stops giving a damn too after a while. After a time, they do whatever they can to keep a client, whether happy or not, and they resort to less, um, legal or ethical things to do to make money such as insurance fraud, embezzlement, hiring of illegal aliens, or even dealing with the drug trade behind closed doors.

                The company I worked for as a supervisor was just like this. They would go through a different patrol supervisor every one to two years. Six months of supervisor experience there was just like two years somewhere else just because of the various responsibilities and workload. People would leave, other untrained people would come in, and they would be the new fresh meat. One long term supervisor, an excellent leader and trainer, who was there for nearly three years had a nervous breakdown and ended up in the hospital. The last I heard he moved out to the backwoods area of Arkansas to get away from city life altogether. Then again, that's just what I heard..
                (ramble ramble)
                That's another issue. Treating employees like commodities instead of organic resources. You can't just insert a new human, wait till it burns out, then remove that human and reinsert a new one. People are not fuses.
                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


                • #9
                  Originally posted by N. A. Corbier
                  That's another issue. Treating employees like commodities instead of organic resources. You can't just insert a new human, wait till it burns out, then remove that human and reinsert a new one. People are not fuses.
                  They are Batteries and the reason we have the Matrix. Now get back to work Coppertop.

                  Hospital Security Officer

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by EMTGuard
                    They are Batteries and the reason we have the Matrix. Now get back to work Coppertop.

                    Are you going to try to sell me some powerade, too?
                    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


                    • #11
                      I can relate to those whistleblowers. I worked on a government installation for 2.5 years, which my company ran under contract from the feds. I can tell you that it was a jurisdictional nightmare. In addition to regular security personnel, we had DOD police officers, NIH police officers, Army MP's, and the occasional FBI agent. The problem is that the facility had different areas run by different departments, so nobody was sure who to call. The NIH cops were only on site during daylight hours, and the DOD police wouldn't respond to our section because it "wasn't their area". But they could still enforce traffic regulations on our side. Go figure.

                      As far as training goes, we had blood bourne pathogen training and fire extinguisher training...that's it. Nothing about first aid, CPR, terrorist response, etc. The hilarious thing about the fire extinguisher training was the fact that our supervisor instructed us not to enter a building if the fire alarm goes off. We were to wait for the fire department to show up. So I don't know why they bothered teaching me to use the fire extinguisher. I guess if there was a fire in a trashcan outside I could put it out.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by wvd1979
                        I can relate to those whistleblowers. I worked on a government installation for 2.5 years, which my company ran under contract from the feds. I can tell you that it was a jurisdictional nightmare. In addition to regular security personnel, we had DOD police officers, NIH police officers, Army MP's, and the occasional FBI agent. The problem is that the facility had different areas run by different departments, so nobody was sure who to call. The NIH cops were only on site during daylight hours, and the DOD police wouldn't respond to our section because it "wasn't their area". But they could still enforce traffic regulations on our side. Go figure.

                        As far as training goes, we had blood bourne pathogen training and fire extinguisher training...that's it. Nothing about first aid, CPR, terrorist response, etc. The hilarious thing about the fire extinguisher training was the fact that our supervisor instructed us not to enter a building if the fire alarm goes off. We were to wait for the fire department to show up. So I don't know why they bothered teaching me to use the fire extinguisher. I guess if there was a fire in a trashcan outside I could put it out.
                        Sounds like the client wanted you to know how. And most likely expected you to know alot more than you were trained in. The company, on the other hand, didn't want the added liability. After all, if you die in the fire, guess who's insurance premiums just went up.
                        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


                        • #13
                          Yeah it's all about the liability. With my luck, I would get sued because I didn't enter the burning building to help people. I know its morbid but I get this mental picture of people jumping out of windows to escape the fire while I stand there outside in my guard uniform with my hands in my pockets.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by wvd1979
                            Yeah it's all about the liability. With my luck, I would get sued because I didn't enter the burning building to help people. I know its morbid but I get this mental picture of people jumping out of windows to escape the fire while I stand there outside in my guard uniform with my hands in my pockets.
                            If your job is to protect property through observation (only), then that's your legal defense. Your company, on the other hand, has none. Typically, your not required to take actions that extend beyond your contractual obligations, unless they involve something that a "reasonable person" could do.

                            The courts have said that regular joe's are trained firefighters, nor are they trained protective agents (public or private), and that they lack the tools to do those jobs. Its when your job IS to do those things, due to a poorly written contract, and the company still fears your doing them, that your screwed.

                            The company has the resources to properly train and equip employees to provide protection of persons. If a judge rules they're contracted to protect people, and the guard is told to be a passive observer, then the company is screwed.
                            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


                            • #15
                              Liability waiver

                              One security company required me to execute a liability waiver before my application would be accepted. The waiver stated that I could not sue the client and/or the security company if I was injured or killed while on duty. You don't think it's binding? Think again. The courts have already upheld it. Workman's compensation is about all you can expect.
                              Security: Freedom from fear; danger; safe; a feeling of well-being. (Webster's)

                              Comment

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