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A hard look at major contract security.

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  • #31
    Originally posted by T202
    N.A. you have a much better grasp on the business end of security than I do. After reading your post, my first instinct was to disagree with you about police getting into the private security business. Then I started thinking about high school dances, football games, county fairs and so on. These functions are all “protected” by police departments through their reserve units. And the high school or the fair committee has to pay for this service.
    You are right, they are in the business. How do we get them out of the business?

    Can professional, highly trained Security Company be competitive with the police departments on bidding on these jobs? If the police departments are getting under bid by a competent security company, so be it. If two bidding organizations are equally trained I would think that the job would go to the lowest bid.

    I am a firm believer in police departments working for the taxpayer not the "paying" grocery store owner.
    I am a firm believer in the same thing. Obviously, the FOP is not.

    Anyway. What I've seen is that people hire off duty police officers because they think of security as "observe and report," and the police departments throw this up. "You can have a police officer on your site who will arrest violators and promote order."

    Ok, that's great. Now, there are some things that 50-75 an hour buys you that are useful. A marked police car. A uniformed police officer. That's about all you're getting, though, as far as difference.

    Clients pay for protection, not enforcing misdemeanor laws. Its great that the police officer can make a misdemeanor arrest, but how does that help the client while the officer is tied up with his prisoner waiting for an on-duty unit to take custody? A security officer, just like any agent of the property owner, fufills the protection requirement by simply removing the violator off the property.

    A police officer can issue lawful orders, and arrest when those orders are not obeyed. This is great, except that 90% of what the client wants enforced are not laws. They are regulations. So, the police officer is forced to act as an agent of the property owner. His options are simple: Identify the person's legitimacy on property, remove non-legitimate persons, write up legitimate persons for management action.

    Sound familiar? Same thing we do.

    I've worked with police officers on short-call assignments. They usually are not required to fill out any paperwork, other than a "time voucher," which the client signs to show that the police officer was on site. In most cases, the police officer's duties are the same as on-duty. Protect persons and property from criminal interference, enforce the laws of the city/county/state of ______, and maintain a visible presence to deter criminal activity.

    Security is more than crime prevention. Many people loose sight of this.
    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


    • #32
      Here the hotel pays the Sherrif and the sherrif pays the deputies, I believe when I did it (in 2002) they were getting paid 25 bucks an hour while I was pulling in a whopping 7.85 ph. We pulled the same duties, and Nathan your correct we were able to conduct "inspections" (one I performed led to a pretty big marijuana distribution bust) The guy that was selling it out of the hotel room made the mistake of telling the deputy that was arresting him "Your just a MFin security guard"

      Question: If LEOs perform contract security jobs such as what we've been just talking about does that make them Rent-a-Cops?

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      • #33
        Originally posted by GCMC Security
        Here the hotel pays the Sherrif and the sherrif pays the deputies, I believe when I did it (in 2002) they were getting paid 25 bucks an hour while I was pulling in a whopping 7.85 ph. We pulled the same duties, and Nathan your correct we were able to conduct "inspections" (one I performed led to a pretty big marijuana distribution bust) The guy that was selling it out of the hotel room made the mistake of telling the deputy that was arresting him "Your just a MFin security guard"

        Question: If LEOs perform contract security jobs such as what we've been just talking about does that make them Rent-a-Cops?
        Yes, yes it does. Or, more aptly, Lease-a-Cop.
        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


        • #34
          Originally posted by N. A. Corbier
          Yes, yes it does. Or, more aptly, Lease-a-Cop.
          Who covers them if they get hurt doing side-duty?
          Security: Freedom from fear; danger; safe; a feeling of well-being. (Webster's)

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          • #35
            Sherrif's Office does.

            Comment


            • #36
              I've mentioned this in another post. The legal department of the Montreal Police decided that since a person can not be evicted from his home without due process & that since an hotel room is a temporary home, someone making noise all night long can not be evicted. They can be given a ticket for breaking the noise by-law or if very serious they can be arrested for disturbing the peace. We wait on the average 30 minutes for police response for semi-serious calls. Some night we get 20 complaints of noise. When we asked the police what to do about it, there answer was tp hire off-duty Officers at $66.00/hour. (My guys are paid just over $13.00). The problem is as Nathan says, the off-duty cops don't have anymore authority in dealing with the noise complaints than us, except they can issue a ticket!
              I enforce rules and regulations, not laws.
              Security Officers. The 1st First Responders.

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              • #37
                That still makes little sense to me, Neil. I mean, where I'm from, the lessor has the authority to evict for violations of the house rules, but must tender a prorated refund upon eviction.
                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


                • #38
                  Originally posted by N. A. Corbier
                  That still makes little sense to me, Neil. I mean, where I'm from, the lessor has the authority to evict for violations of the house rules, but must tender a prorated refund upon eviction.
                  Nope- The legal department of the police says that they are not allowed to assist in throwning out someone from a hotel room. They have gone as far as to say that if I open a guest room door to throw someone out who is causing a disturbance & who doesn't open the door when I knock, I CAN BE ARRESTED FOR BREAK & ENTER!!!

                  You are right. I doesn't make sense. We can throw out "visitors" in the room but not those that are registered. In an appartment the landlord can only throw out a tenant who continuously disturbs others AFTER getting a judgement from the Rental Board. Our problem is that the Rental Board law does not cover hotel room rentals & besides they don't have hearings in the middle of the night! I argue that since a landlord can do background checks etc before renting to a tentant an exception should be made in hotels since we almost have to accept someone who shows up at the front desk asking for a room. But nooo.
                  I enforce rules and regulations, not laws.
                  Security Officers. The 1st First Responders.

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Sounds like somebody needs to change the law there to fix that issue. Hotel rooms can become strongholds for criminal activity if the lessor doesn't have the authority to evict.
                    "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."

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                    • #40
                      You CAN evict if criminal activities are taking place. Not for by-law infractions. If they start to vandalize a room it becomes criminal & they can be thrown out.
                      I enforce rules and regulations, not laws.
                      Security Officers. The 1st First Responders.

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        A Hard Look at Contract Security

                        Originally posted by Mr. Security
                        Several officers on this forum, including myself, work for large contract security companies. It's common to hear complaints that many of the security officers employed by such companies leave much to be desired. Why is that? Some of the reasons are listed below:

                        * Low pay/no or substandard benefits
                        * High turn over
                        * Inadequate training
                        * Poorly educated/unmotivated employees
                        * Morale issues
                        * Management that understands sales better than security services
                        * Clients who contract with the lowest bidder supposedly to save money, and because insurance requires 24/7 security before issuing coverage

                        * Clients who insist on value added services that are not security related

                        I'm sure that there are other reasons too. Of course, there are security officers employed by such companies that are conscientious and strive to set the example of what a professional security officer should be. Unfortunately, it seems to be a losing battle. In fact, you're more likely to be terminated if you are conscientious because so many clients simply want a security presence, not a proactive officer who enforces the post orders or documents security and safety problems that should be corrected. Security companies that sacrifice the security officer who does what is right rather than lose the client by backing up the officer, further compound this problem.

                        Is there a solution? If so, what is it and how can security contractors be compelled to accept the solution(s)?
                        Mr. Security,

                        I don't take exception with your post nor with any of the replies that I read, but let me give you a different perspective.

                        There are approximately 13,000 contract security companies in the USA (unless Allied-Barton or Securitas have acquired more since this morning). These could be segmented in many different ways in terms of size, market focus, etc., but let me break them down for you as follows:

                        Large National/Multi-Nationals - (top 50 in size)
                        It is my belief, that these companies are beginning to implode under their own shear weight. Local management turnover is high, the objectives are ill-defined, and the clients are frustrated. They are run by well intentioned Harvard MBA's who's primary concern is adhearence to a "Business Model" rather than making payroll next week. A young person looking for a career in the industry may benefit from some of their management training programs, but they would have to be at the right place at the right time. I.E., buy a lottery ticket.

                        Small Local "Mom and Pop" Companies - (Bottom 10,000 in size)
                        These are the local companies who worry about making the payroll EVERY WEEK. They are owned and run by bright but unsophisticated people, many of whom get rich in spite of themselves. Often, they ignore quality, training, morale issues and generally lose site of the fact that the officers they employ ARE their company and without them, they would be standing post themselves, probably for one of the Multi-Nationals. They often submit moranic bids, and then can't figure why their bank balance keeps going down even though they think they are growing. Many of them care about their emplyees but simply can't raise their pay because of the way they bid the contract.

                        The Emerging Few -
                        There are many small and mid size companies that focus on adding value and upgrading the industry. They do that in order to grow their company, however, many of them do it to support a higher bill rate, which will support a higher pay rate which will allow them to hire a higher quality officer (like the ones in this forum), which lowers their turnover rates and thus their training costs, overtime, uniform costs, and the number of calls on the weekend.

                        More importantly, they do it because these people believe in the industry and the integrity of their company and their employees and, although they well understand that Security is not Law Enforcement, it is their partner. They try to educate the client that a more professional officer is to their mutual benefit, etc.

                        These are the companies that will eventually fill the gap created by the regional companies that sold to the multi-nationals. Most of these companies are very active in their home state lobbying efforts to raise the status of contract security. Most are owned by people who care...they care about their employees and the industry as whole and the role that it plays in today's world.

                        How does an officer find these companies? When interviewing, ask if the company is a member of ASIS International. Ask if the company is an active member of your state's association. For example, in Texas it is A.S.S.I.S.T., in California, it is CALSAGA, in NY it is ALDONYS. Most states have one. This is an indication of the owner's committment to the industry and to YOU.
                        Richard Dickinson
                        Dickinson Security Management Group, LLC
                        DSMG Provides a Variety of Software Products and Consulting Services to the Contract Security Industry
                        www.hrdickinson.com

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Originally posted by hrdickinson
                          Mr. Security,

                          I don't take exception with your post nor with any of the replies that I read, but let me give you a different perspective.

                          There are approximately 13,000 contract security companies in the USA (unless Allied-Barton or Securitas have acquired more since this morning). These could be segmented in many different ways in terms of size, market focus, etc., but let me break them down for you as follows:

                          Large National/Multi-Nationals - (top 50 in size)
                          It is my belief, that these companies are beginning to implode under their own shear weight. Local management turnover is high, the objectives are ill-defined, and the clients are frustrated. They are run by well intentioned Harvard MBA's who's primary concern is adhearence to a "Business Model" rather than making payroll next week. A young person looking for a career in the industry may benefit from some of their management training programs, but they would have to be at the right place at the right time. I.E., buy a lottery ticket......
                          Thanks for weighing in. The Large National companies are described perfectly in your post. These are the ones that I would like to see regulated by the Feds. Like a large oil tanker that is incapable of maneuvering itself in tight quarters w/o the help of tugs, such companies need to be pushed and pulled so that they conform to a higher set of standards.

                          As a former accountant, I have watched with interest as the government finally reeled in the large accounting firms and their creative accounting methods. Just as accountants are expected to adhere to GAAP, the security giants need a high set of principles that they are expected to uphold. This will require enforcement measures up to and including criminal sanctions if necessary. Until then, I will be surprised to see any meaningful changes with these companies.
                          Security: Freedom from fear; danger; safe; a feeling of well-being. (Webster's)

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            The Devil's Advocate is...

                            In post #4 N. A. Corbier says "The guard doesn't make them money. The client does."
                            Absolutely right, as are all the other points he makes in defending the companies, the employers, in this forum of security guards with, it seems all too often, many complaints and some grudges against the companies.

                            I love devil's advocates. They force us to open our minds, to see the big picture beyond the individuals.

                            Good for you, Corbier.

                            Rock the boat and learn to swim.

                            wjohnc
                            Rule #1: Go home at the end of the day in an upright position, with everything attached, and with peace of mind for having done the job well.
                            "I won't be wronged. I won't be insulted. I won't be laid a-hand on. I don't do these things to other people, and I require the same from them." - John Wayne (in his last movie 'The Shootist')

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                            • #44
                              I have to ask a question. What does the company's membership in ASIS International have to do with finding a better employer?

                              ASIS historically is all about replacing organic assets (guards) with technological assets (cameras and DVRs). I have always considered ASIS the "management" organization, while looking for a "employee" organization.
                              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


                              • #45
                                Asis

                                Originally posted by N. A. Corbier
                                I have to ask a question. What does the company's membership in ASIS International have to do with finding a better employer?

                                ASIS historically is all about replacing organic assets (guards) with technological assets (cameras and DVRs). I have always considered ASIS the "management" organization, while looking for a "employee" organization.
                                N.A.,

                                In terms of ASIS membership as an indication of a better employer, it means nothing if you are considering a large company and the local district manager just happens to be a member.

                                I just meant if you are considering a local or small regional company, and the owner is NOT a member of ASIS or the state organization, that MAY be an indication of a lack of sophistication, and/or a lack of interest in what is going on in the industry outside his/her own company. I have met many such people and they are focused on short term profits, not on building a quality company.

                                As far as you characterization of ASIS, you might be right. There is no doubt that the exhibitors at the annual conventions have changed from mostly guard companies, uniform vendors, etc. to mostly high tech companies.

                                On the other hand, the local chapter meetings focus on homeland security issues, gang violence, etc. And those meetings are generally attended by security guard company representives and client organizations. At least that's true in NY and Houston. I haven't noticed a bias in either direction.
                                Richard Dickinson
                                Dickinson Security Management Group, LLC
                                DSMG Provides a Variety of Software Products and Consulting Services to the Contract Security Industry
                                www.hrdickinson.com

                                Comment

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