When most people think of private security, they think of a fat, unkempt individual passed out in front of several CCTV monitors in which he or she is being paid to watch at all times. It is no secret that the public over the years has lost a lot of respect for the profession, and with good reason. A lot of private security companies have given the industry a bad name by hiring just about anybody off the street, with little to no experience, and very poor training. Unfortunately the reasoning behind these practices is quite simple. Many American companies simply do not take the security of their property as serious as they should. How so you ask? Let me try and explain.
As someone with a little over five years of private security experience, both at the officer and management level I have witnessed a lot. The bulk of security jobs involve low pay, little to no benefits, and terrible schedules. Weekends and holidays are most always a must. Many people will say well how much should somebody who just walks around get paid? However one cannot look at it in those terms. For example, how much would you say it is worth to avoid thousands of dollars in thefts annually? Say you own a firm that specializes in designing new cutting edge technology. How much money could you potentially lose if a competitor was able to gain access to your facility, steal invaluable information and put your products on the market before you? Even worse, what if your customer’s or client’s financial information were stolen? Could you afford the potential lawsuits or withstand the potential loss of business as a result of your poor security protocols?
Businesses need to understand that simply hiring the lowest bidding company for their security needs in most instances can actually be worse then hiring no security company at all. The companies that bid lower, tend to be more lax in their hiring process, pay their officers the least, and provide the worse training if they provide any at all. Their officers are inexperienced and they tend to have a very poor work ethic. This brings the old adage “you get what you pay for” to a more understandable level. Do your research and ask questions. If you want qualified security professionals protecting your business, then you want to sign a contract with a qualified security company. Even if that means paying a little extra for the peace of mind.
Another very common occurrence in the private security industry is the client’s unwillingness to let the security company do what they are being contracted to do. I have witnessed countless instances in which clients have completely disregarded security issues brought to their attention. Whether it was because they didn’t want to be bothered, they were too busy to address the issue, or didn’t want to spend the money to fix the issue I don’t know, but this should never be an acceptable practice. If you are paying a security company to provide a service yet looking the other way when things are brought to your attention, then you might as well let them go because you are just wasting your money anyway.
Finally, hold your contracted security company accountable for their officers and their service. If their employees are falling asleep on the job, being rude to your employees or clients, or not performing their duties to your expectations, approach your contact at the company. Give them a chance to properly take care of the situation and follow up with them regularly. If the matter isn’t resolved within an acceptable time frame, get rid of them. Your security is only as good as the service you are receiving, don’t settle for a half rate provider.