Dangerous Job -- Security Guard !!!


September 24, 2003, 06:46 PM
I did not realize how dangerous a job it is being a security guard.

According to this story, slightly more security guards died in the line of duty in 2002 than LEOs!

In Florida, this year alone, 5 security guards have been murdered, according to this article.

I used to laugh about the so-called Mall Ninjas, but may be they have the right idea!

I think this story is a good "heads up" for all those people working in private security.

For those of you who work as security guards and LEOs, let's be careful out there!

Here is the story's link:

from: ap.org

Security guard death at Tampa mall is Florida's fifth this year

Saturday, September 20, 2003

By VICKIE CHACHERE, Associated Press

TAMPA — A man was arrested on a first-degree murder charge Friday in the death of a mall security officer who was caught in the door of a stolen getaway car that then crashed.

The death of University Mall security guard John Tauer is at least the fifth of a private security officer in Florida this year. Those in the profession say it is becoming an increasingly dangerous job.

Tauer, 39, was killed Thursday evening when he tried to stop two men suspected of shoplifting at a J.C. Penney store at the north Tampa mall. Tauer, who was also a volunteer sheriff's deputy, chased the men into the parking lot and reached into the open driver's door to grab one.

The stolen Lexus traveled about 250 yards and crashed into a pine tree at about 65 mph. Tauer died less than three hours later at Tampa General Hospital.

"It's a sad day for all of us," said Hillsborough County Sheriff's Maj. Gary Terry.

Jontue Davis, 20, was arrested and jailed without bail on felony murder, robbery and grand theft auto charges. Steven Sinadinos, 15, was being held in juvenile detention on a grand theft charge.

Tauer will be given a full law enforcement funeral Tuesday in Tampa and will be buried in Ohio. Sheriff Cal Henderson has ordered flags be flown at half-mast that day; deputies will wear black bands on their badges.

Tauer, a former deputy in Palm Beach County and in Oklahoma, is survived by his wife, an emergency room physician. He had been a reserve deputy since March, but was working as a private security guard Thursday.

Sheriff's officials said he had volunteered as a reserve deputy in hopes of being hired on full-time.

"He was a wonderful, caring individual," said James Barth, a fellow reserve deputy. "He was the perfect kind of person you would want in law enforcement."

Tim Lyons, spokesman for J.C. Penney, said Tauer had worked at the University Mall store for about six months and at other Penney's stores for about three years.

He said he could not comment further on the death because of the pending investigation. He said there are guidelines about pursuing shoplifters, but "the associate has to make judgment calls about how to respond."

"Obviously, we are extremely sad and very much shocked by the death of one of our associates," he said.

Davis has been arrested seven times in the past year, mostly on misdemeanor drug and theft charges, sheriff's records show. He was free on a $2,000 bond for an April auto theft arrest. The name of an attorney representing him was not immediately available.

Tauer's death comes in a year in which at least four other security officers have been killed in Florida, including a similar case in May that killed officer Keith Poore in Merritt Island.

Luchreasy Shawanda Reese, 21, and Denise Anderson, 16, both of Titusville, are each charged with first-degree murder in the death of Poore, who was struck and dragged by a fleeing car. Authorities said Reese and Anderson were trying to steal a swimsuit.

Less than a month ago in Davie, tobacco store security officer Curtis Leonard was shot to death by an assailant who, police believe, had robbed the establishment.

In April, Broward County Sheriff's Deputy Philip Billings was shot to death while working a security detail at a Pompano Beach automobile dealership. Two men suspected in his killing were found dead four days later in what detectives said was a murder-suicide.

In January, five men wearing black ski masks shot and killed Luis Brito, 56, as they robbed the Mayors jewelry store in the Village of Merrick Park, one of South Florida's ritziest malls. Five men were arrested within weeks and are facing first-degree murder and armed robbery charges.

According to statistics released this week by the U.S. Department of Labor, slightly more security guards were slain on the job in 2002 than police officers. Nationwide, there were 46 security officers killed, compared to 41 police officers.

Last year in Florida, eight security officers died on the job. Three were homicide victims and the others were killed in accidents, according to state statistics. That's compared with seven law enforcement officers killed on the job.

K.C. Poulin, the founder of the Clearwater-based security company Critical Intervention Services, said most people don't realize what a dangerous job private security officers have.

"Security officers are on the front lines," he said. "The are the first responders in whatever environment they face. They end up putting themselves in harm's way."

Those dangers are present even though Florida has the highest training standards for security officer in the nation, requiring 40 hours of training and strict certification standards, Poulin said.

Florida Sen. Victor Crist has six times tried to increase the penalties for assaulting state-certified security officers from a misdemeanor to a felony. Crist said Friday he intends to refile the legislation because of Tauer's death.

Crist, R-Tampa, said he hopes the increased penalties would deter would-be assailants at a time when private security officers are playing a more important role in a security-conscious nation.

"These are individuals who are providing a service to their employer and the people the employer serves," Crist said. "They have families, they have wives and husbands and children. They are loved by their friends and they deserve protection too."

:( :mad: :(

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September 24, 2003, 08:43 PM
Yea, you don't really think about it being all that dangerous.

Part of the problem is probably limited resources. Mostly, they don't have good equipment(if any), poor training and nobody to back them up.

They don't get the respect that Police get either. Somebody who would might not resist arrest from a Police officer might assault a security guard.

September 24, 2003, 09:22 PM
Now THIS job would be dangerous.

Standing Wolf
September 24, 2003, 09:36 PM
Luchreasy Shawanda Reese, 21, and Denise Anderson, 16, both of Titusville, are each charged with first-degree murder in the death of Poore, who was struck and dragged by a fleeing car. Authorities said Reese and Anderson were trying to steal a swimsuit.

Murder over a swimming suit? I'll chip a dollar into the rope fund.

son of a gun
September 24, 2003, 09:36 PM
Those security guards are only paid like $8.00 an hour, Gary Coleman's a security guard and he jumped on the hood of a car to stop some wrong doer and it was all caught on tape.

I just love the back stop at that Chinese shooting range.http://instagiber.net/smiliesdotcom/contrib/ruinkai/spidereekA.gif

Ala Dan
September 24, 2003, 10:03 PM
Greeting's All-

David, thanks for the tip on the security guard industry !
It can (and has) been a deadly scene, in some instances. For
some reason, I can't understand someone working in the
security business on an unarmed post; such as around
hospitals, car lots, hotels, etc. Case in point, I'm very familiar
with a local hospital that went to contract security (because of
liability reasons) on 01 SEPT ) 03. What they did, was cut out
all armed post's except one ! The hospital administrator
and director of security felt like the need for armed security
had vanished in this ghetto.

In case you are not familiar with it, UAB MEDICAL WEST
is located in Bessemer (Poverty, U.S.A.) Alabama; or 16 miles
SSW of the big city of Bombingham, AL. My own employment
was eliminated, cuz of my position on firearms. I refused to
give an inch, and compromise my safety. Far too many drug
addict's, mental defect's, or criminal types hang around these
establishment's looking for something for nothing.

Best Wishes,
Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member

September 24, 2003, 10:26 PM
Ahh, yes......us rentacop wannabe's(so says some!) can get into some serious stuff. My partner was thoroughly beaten by five guys when he worked for another company...unarmed. His Glock 22 goes everywhere with him now(except to court!).
I do a series of hotels in downtown Vegas, northend of crackalley, and You better believe I am very armed and very aware! IIIA body armor, radio, .45 auto, four mags, asp, pepperspray, back up knife(a back up pistol to be added to the wardrobe when CCW finally gets here....whaddya mean FOUR MONTHS! I need it tonight!).
I have had an idiot try and grab my gun, two idiots pull knives(there was distance, so I stared back as if to say, you really think you'll live long enough to stab me with that toad sticker? The knives soon disappeared), was painted by a laser, been yelled at, screamed at, accused of bigotry(you are not arresting me because I am a thief, but because you're racist!), threatened, had crack dealers get into my face(I returned the favor), heard a million denials and BS stories(no, that is a glass straw, boss...not a crackpipe).
And seen, well, things that are not very pleasant.
This is a temporary gig for me, an experiential education of being there, doing that. But for those that do it for a life.....whew, they do more that most of us will ever know. When we sleep, some poor schmuck making 8-10 bucks an hour is out there keeping his eyes open when he/she would rather be in bed.
All said and told, I am a WANNABE!! I wannabe strumming my guitar on a Hawiian beach with Ms Thong USA beside me!! Pass me a beer, dear!
Life sure is interesting!
A Schmuck

September 25, 2003, 01:19 AM
I agree with many of the ideas presented by other THR members.

In my opinion, all security guards should be:

1 -- Armed (with proper training and background check)

2 -- Issued Body Armor

3 -- Receive in-service training on a regular basis

I think that if these things are done, security guards will be better prepared to do their dangerous jobs in a safe and professional manner.

As a side note, if security guards are better trained, perhaps they will earn a better pay as well.

:D :what: :D

September 25, 2003, 02:53 AM
Sorry. It sounds like there was a loss of common sense in these SGs. A chase is not worth getting killed over. Stupid. No chase and more would not get hurt. Poor taining, poor tactics and poor decisions.

September 25, 2003, 05:07 AM
I went through the Class "D" Security Officer course a while back for grins. These folks actually have LESS authority than your run of the mill citizen!

For example, only a security guard working in a retail store may restrain a shoplifter / thief until the LEO's show up. If you're working security anywhere other than retail, you can't even do that!

Why bother?!

September 25, 2003, 07:05 AM
From what I read he did a very foolish thing. It happens to LEOs too. Reaching into a car is a no no.

Be that as it may, working security can be very hazardous to your health. If you`re guarding something valuable and the animals want it, they`ll treat as no more than a speed bump. :cuss:

Ala Dan
September 25, 2003, 08:15 AM
When the distinguished security firm of NORRED
& ASSOCIATES elected not to retain me as part
of the hospital security team, I laughed. Why? Because
I have got more experienced in security (20+year LEO
veteran) than the owner of the company; or most of
his employees. I attended advanced training seminars
every year; plus specialized schools for weapons and

Just as an example, would you want your female family
members to enter or exit a facility in a high crime area
unescorted during the hours of darkness? I certainly
would think not! Well, it happens all the time at my
ole job site; U.A.B. Medical West. Some of the
inexperienced security officer's are just too damn
scared to stick their own heads out the door; for fear
that some goon will take a shot at them! I hear that
NORRED & ASSOCIATES is paying really high wages
for this dangerous job; yep, $7.00 @ hour. At least
that is what the s/o with the firearm makes; dunno
about the unarmed folk's?

Interested in employment? Visit their website at:

Best Wishes,
Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member

September 25, 2003, 09:30 AM
I think that if these things are done, security guards will be better prepared to do their dangerous jobs in a safe and professional manner.

Looks good on paper but it won't happen. Having worked security for the past couple of years, my observations are as follows:

Most people have security to get the insurance writeoff. They're not interested in having officers who could actually DO something it needed, after all, that's what the police are for, right?

Companies further save money by only offering minimal wages and taking the lowest bidder when they take bids from different companies. They don't really look at qualifications, but rather how much each man-hour is going to cost them.

Since a security company has to turn a profit to stay in business, once they take their chunk from the hourly wage, the officer's take comes damn close to minimum wage.

Once you get wages around minimum wage, you're only going to attract people who got bored flipping burgers who generally make horrific security officers.

Lastly, once a client gets set-up, they want the highest-speed, lowest-drag officers out there who will stay on post during a fire in the building, conduct bomb searches should there be a bomb threat, and investigate instances of workplace violence--all while unarmed except for a set of keys.

I've seen all of these things as a supervisor at a 23 officer site; it was a daily fight to convince the client that they got what they paid for, and for $7/hour, you weren't going to get former Navy Seals on post.

I point-blank told the client no a couple of times. Once, when they asked that one of the two officers on the night-watch walk through the vacant buildings around the property downtown at 2am, without a flashlight (could be used as a weapon) and certainly no dedicated weapons. The other time was when I was instructed that as the supervisor, new policies were about to be put into place that would instruct me to go investigate a shots-fired type of workplace violence incident before we called the cops, again, unarmed, with no body armor.

Perhaps there is a reason that I am no longer at that site...

The industry cuts its own throat by allowing prices in a market to drop as low as they do. Training needs to be standardized and maintained, but most companies will still just take any Joe off the street and put him in a uniform and call him an officer. Most places won't realize how pathetic their security force is until something happens and the paper tiger becomes obvious.


September 25, 2003, 11:51 AM
in terms of requirements.....But Teuf is generally correct..
The Kansas City company I worked for really did not care about qualifications, as long as you qualified with the pistol(that you bought), they gave no training. Matter of fact, I got a jacket, 2 shirts, a badge, and a pair of CHEAP handcufs......I had to buy THEIR trousers, I had to PAY for the Commision and Qualifications card.
Then they stuck me in a really colorful ghetto grocery store!
Here in Vegas...you have to comlete 12 hours of classes and qualification. And, if there is food, alcohol or gambling, then you need a Sherrifs Card. Fortunately, I did not not need the Card as my hotels do not have F<D<G. Just illegal things like crack, dealers and cheap prostitutes(ugly too!).
But...the companies expect alot out of you for little returned....
Josey....Common sence generally is in short short supply. 7-10 bucks an hour does not get a highly trained person. And, YES, sticking your head in a car does IS dangerous. No one WANTS to get killed over a stolen swimming suit!
Markdido....don't know what state you are in, but I do have decent powers of arrest...on my property. And I can take down license numbers of car that I witness in Drug deals and pass it on to Metro PD as a private citizen. My hotel was full of drugs when I got here, and I had one of those partners who would intimidate those he could. He left the drug dealers alone, and they had the run of the place.
He quit, new manager told me to clean it up. It was a slow process and dangerous at times, but it is very quiet when I am on duty now. They wait till I am Off duty to try and incursion on my property. But the idea is catching on and it is 90% cleaner than it was.
But once I depart.....they'll try to take over again. Right now they have gone to greener pastures like grazing parasites...most of them are all bluster and cowards at heart. Yet they are very dangerous especially in groups.
It's good thing I speak good Predator!!! And four years as an Assaultman USMC Infantry behind me. And a deep interest in firearms for personal defense. The street folk repect that Presence!

September 25, 2003, 01:12 PM
These real-life security horror stories are amazing!

I hope that companies finally realize that something as important as security should NOT go to the LOWEST BIDDER, but to the BEST QUALIFIED.

Security should be paid a proper wage as to attract professionals to the job. and they should be issued the quality equipment that they need.

You would think that in these times of "enhanced" homeland security, things would be better for security guards!

But I think not!

:eek: :what: :eek:

September 25, 2003, 01:45 PM
Dream on, David. Sadly, Teufelhunden is right on the money.

September 25, 2003, 04:37 PM
And more Habib Mart employees die in the line of duty than either cops or security guards. Where's the Habib Mart employee memorials? :p

September 25, 2003, 05:08 PM
In most cases, unarmed, training ranging from usually scarce to none, few arrest or detention powers in most cases, working for employers that do not appreciate their full potential.

Yet, being required to stand their post regardless of weather, encountering the very dregs of society on a constant basis, and being expected to confront violent, frequently armed maggots who are doing their level best to hurt or kill them.

I personally jump all over ANYONE who refers to these individuals as rent-a-cops.

They are Security Officers. And, most of them may not have firearms, but they do have balls--BIG balls--brass ones a mile wide.

My hat's off to them. I consider them brothers in uniform, and will go to the wall for ANY Security Officer. To all of you in the profession--my thanks to you for being, in many cases, the first and ONLY responders. Stay safe, and go home at the end of your shift.

September 25, 2003, 05:13 PM
My partner was off duty on our property and saw a domestic dispute in the hotel. We are, in theory, on duty 24/7, so he went to check it out. A 14 year old girl who had nothing to do with the domestic situation butted her noisy little a## into the matter, distracting him from what could be come a very dangerous situation.
The girl, whose parents were/are parasites that had not paid rent in over a month-milking the system until they were forcefully evicted, would not respond to verbal commands to leave. She got between my partner and the disputing couple, he pushed her aside, for her safety and his.
They filed Battery charges against him. We just went to Court today for it, he was basically forced to plead No Contest, take a heavy hit on fines to reduce the Misdemeanor, or go to Court and have a permenant blot on his record. The Judge did not care if he was On The Job, The Judge did not care if he follwed the rules set forth for security officer's in the state of Nevada. His hands touched a minor, and that is Battery!!!
Our employer will not assist in fines, saying he was Off duty...even though in our contract it says we are on call 24/7.
It is gonna cost him over 400 bucks and a 8 hour class.
Go Figure!!

September 25, 2003, 06:25 PM
That security guard's story just goes to prove the theory that no good deed goes unpunished!

:uhoh: :what: :scrutiny:

September 25, 2003, 06:46 PM
Many have already stated it better than I can, but I will say that working in security often times is as bad or worse than described. I've only been doing it for about 10 years, but I saw early on how bad it can be.

September 25, 2003, 07:42 PM
A subject near and dear to my heart and I can only agree with what the devil dog said. Right now, my company is losing customers left and right to a company that hires only retirees and outfits them horribly. I actually saw one that didn't even have a pistol on citing that it was too heavy to tote around all day. And he was moving big money!

No safe/vault on their premises, no benefits, no training, nothing but very little overhead and a bid that cuts ours in half. It's a miracle that more of these people aren't killed.

Personally, I believe that 90% of the battle isn't in training from the company but in recognizing your own deficiencies and being willing to improve where you need to. I cannot count the number of times that I've heard one of our guys say that they didn't need to train with their pistols because we have never been in a situation where it would help.

Most people are imbeciles and I have little respect for security officers as a whole. I don't like to make blanket statements, but I've seen enough of them to know that they are basically an ignorant lot. Most are old fogies gambling on the chance that they won't be confronted and can continue to draw that paycheck. The others are ignorant wannabes that didn't have a chance to be a cop or military man and think this is somehow just as good; it's funny how that badge and gun can affect the mind.

And just to illustrate what I'm talking about: my company used to have a policy where your wage was frozen at $9.50 until you got your Commercial Driver's License, class B. The company would provide you with all the training and pay for all the testing. All you had to do was ask for the training and you could climb the payscale as you earned seniority.

Wouldn't you know it, most of the people refused to go through the course. I came into the company with a CDL-A and shot past folks that have been working here for years and years. They were just content to make a fraction of what they could make because it was the easiest thing to do. Unfortunately, the company ended that policy and you saw a lot of asses get major pay increases (as much as $2.25/hr). Now we'll never get rid of them!:fire:

Then you have the One-Percenters that make the industry look good. I don't know why some people do this line of work and invest so much of their time and money into training/shooting. Some might infer that there is some kind of power trip going on in their heads. Some might think that they are genuinely interested in helping folks. I don't know what it is, but I do get a kick out of the work. Maybe it's just an excuse to buy guns, shoot matches, pump iron and take training classes right beside hard-chargers.

Rough as it can be at times, it's the best work I've ever had and I think I'll stick around for awhile longer.:cool:

Ed Brunner
September 25, 2003, 08:21 PM
Re: jobsucks.

His First Sgt didn't like him.

September 25, 2003, 08:29 PM
Part Time Textile Mill Security Guard here. ($6 hr):o I carry my KT P32 daily. ;)
Yes, Alot of people laugh and poke fun at us. But Its our job for their and their propertys "Security". About a month ago there was an Incident, involving a female guard and a black male and black female. The Male put a revolver to the females chin and demanded her purse and there our Female security officer was unarmed and didnt know what to do. BG was long gone before the cops arrived. Also the security video sucks too.

God Bless these fallen S/Os.

ps, Nope Im not allowed to carry at work. But I do for my safety.

Ala Dan
September 25, 2003, 08:47 PM
Nationally reknowned Wackenhut Corporation is perhaps
the best security company of the lot, at least here in the
Birmingham, AL area. Armed Custom Protection Officer's
can earn as much as $10.60 an hour; dependent on the
client and their location. Wackenhut offer's a competitive
salary, better benefit's package, nicer looking uniforms,
and upscale training; complete with weapons qualification.

Some of their prestigous client's include, but are not limited
to: The Mercedes-Benz "M" class factory located in Vance, AL
also Druid City Hospital in Tuscaloosa, AL and The Greystone
gated community located in northern Shelby County, AL. Also,
several banks and shopping malls employ the services of the
Wackenhut Corp.

Early on in Wackenhut security training, recruits are taught
that the duty of a good security officer is, "To observe and
report. Nothing else! Don't try to be a hero by greasing
a perp by yourself. In closing just fuel for thought; after my
extensive law enforcement career, I attended a Wackenhut
40 (classroom hour) training class and a weapons qualification
class. I was highly impressed, and would rate their certification
as an A.

The only reason I did not add a +, is because they need
to upgrade their duty weapons from Taurus model 82 .38's
to Smith & Wesson bull barrel model 10's in .38 Special; or
some form of a quality semi-auto. FWIW, if I ever did
have a notion to return to contract security work; well, this
is the firm as to where I would seek employment.

Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member

September 25, 2003, 08:56 PM
I am actually enjoying some of it...the freedom to prowl the night and hunt crackdealers...even though I just scare them off. I have deveolped a pretty good rep with Metro PD and they think I have done a pretty good job here. Where a group of 10-15 crackdealers hanging out on the street was common, now if you see 10 ALL night it is a busy night.
The alley behind the hotel was once the sight of vagrants, drug use and the occasional gang rape. But now I walk up and down it and seldom see anyone but folks from the neighborhood. Kinda gives you a good feeling that you stemmed the tide, if only for a short time.
I started doing security soon after 911. Too old to do anything else reasonably effective for my country...maybe I just wanted to assist in some manner no matter how small or insignificant.
Money sucks. I have learned alot. My job may be terminated tomorrow. Might as well have some fun!!! To demonstrate to the bottom dwellers that not all are sheeple, some will not be intimidated, coorced, nor will they back down.
There are some laughs too! Crazy antics. I saw LV Metro stop a man in the middle on Main Street. I am not sure why they were hassling him...he was only naked the waist down! Caught a hooker and her 'trick' behnd a van in my parking lot getting ready to 'consummate' a deal. I scurried them on their way.
My favorite was the macho, rough and tumble crackhead/dealer that threatened to kick the crap outta some dude on the street. Yelling and screaming threats as the man walked away. Then when the man turned and started back toward him, he began going the other way retreating, all the while hurling insult's and 'I'll get you's' as he beat a tactical withdrawal to the rear!! Hilarious!!

September 25, 2003, 09:03 PM
Most people in this business who do certain jobs are taking to much risk.
Unfortunately most of these workers don't have any training that they can fall back on such as former police or military. I see armored truck gaurds who obviously have no training. They can hardly handle a gun. Also the less people the company needs to do a pick up,or a drop the more money they can save.

They don't do proper surviellance, and analysis or other necessary things you should do when travelling from point a to point b, or protecting a site. They don't know basic security. They are totally vulnerable. Its a shame.

Its to the point that I would never even do the job. To do what it actually takes to be completely safe would'nt be acceptable to most businesses.

I worked for a contract company for two years after military service. The contract companies that pay low just won't get performance from their people, and they have extremely high turnover rates. More money is in supervisory, and management positions.

Its all about the companies bottom line. The less they pay the officer the more they get to keep. The typical client at a site most likely has an insurance policy so they almost could care less, almost.

Be armed? Are you kidding. That might entail paying people more, and hiring people with balls. The only thing I worried about though was my reputation.
Working around a bunch of clueless people gets old real quick, and I don't mean security people. Its a terrible job putting up with some of the clueless people in the general public. I'm so glad I don't do that job anymore. I wouldn't wish that on anybody.

rick newland
September 25, 2003, 09:11 PM
Ala Dan

Have you checked into security engineers located there in Birmingham? They have a decent training program plus it is possible to qualify with your own pistol. Their duty gun is S&W model 10, I carry a stainless 1911. I work up here in Huntsville. There are three of us at our jobsite that are retired military Law Enforcement. On our days off from our site we cover high risk business's that have had a problem with armed robberys. Us three are the only ones they trust enough not to do something stupid. I turned down a supervisor position with Wackenhut at the Chrysler plant here once I found out they were bought out by the corporation that owns Securitas, bad experiances with them in Germany.

Ala Dan
September 25, 2003, 10:01 PM
Greeting's Rick-

No sir, I haven't even made up my mind to entertain the
idea of ever working on a contract security basis again?
You see, I was involved in a near fatal motor vechile
accident back in March 1998; and suffered a broken neck.
After five years of living in tremendous pain, I believe I'm
going to call it quits; and file for disability. Nobody, wants
to hire a 56 year old with physical limitations. And too,
Alabama is an "at will" work state; meaning an
employer may not hire you, or fire you for any reason
or no reason!:( Only three states are like that,
Alabama, Mississippi, and Michigan.

So, thanks for the updated information on Wackenhut;
as I did not know they had been sold to another security
firm. Best of luck to you sir, and for GOD's sakes be careful.

Best Wishes,
Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member

September 25, 2003, 10:06 PM
If you are alive and breathing Wells Fargo or "Securitas" will hire you.;)

September 25, 2003, 11:52 PM
I didn't want to name names Dan, but my previous anecdotes come from my time with Wackenhut, or more properly, Group 4 Falck now.

I finally landed a good gig working a federal site for the 'Hut under FPS (Federal Protective Services) supervision just before I left Virginia, but I would say that even Wackenhut falls prey to many of the same problems that any other security company does. Yes, Wackenhut DOES have a highger grade of officer called a Custom Protection Officer (CPO), beneath them are the USO's (Upscale Security Officer) and the TSO (Traditional Security Officer). Each decline in level has a corresponding drop in qualifications and pay.

I worked as a CPO, which requires that you be retired/former military or LEO, Special Forces, Corrections or have a degree. Most of the CPO's you get are pretty locked on.

Having said all of these things about CPO's and Wackenhut's attempts to provide a higher grade of officer, let me ask you how often you think a client actually requested a CPO. In my 23 man staff, I had two; me, and my 2nd shift sergeant. It all goes back to the pay. When you've got USO's working for $8.50/hour, and CPO's going for $11/hour, who do you think will appear to be more attractive to the 'bottom-line' types that request bids? Even though the Marine Corps found me to be expertly qualified with both rifle and pistol, on my site the client mandated I be unarmed except for my Fists of Fury™, and the only reason I could have those is because they couldn't figure out a good way to make me forget everything the Corps taught me.

Everything a contract security company can do is dictated by the client. Some of the blame for the state of the industry lies with security companies themselves for hiring unqualified personnel and refusing to train them, but the other part of the problem is with clients who lay unrealistic demands on officers and their managers. The basic theme that irked me to no end when I was a Security Officer was that we would supposedly be hired because we were the knowledgeable ones, yet the client, who had no training or other knowledge in the field, would be the one making the decisions. It irrated me that I was being paid to be the duty expert, but my opinions on matters at hand weren't really considered. I irritatedly queried my supervisor more than once about how if they knew how to do it themselves, why were we there?

I think corporate America is terrified of offending anyone and extraordinarily politically correct. They are terrified of the liability issues (as they perceive them) should they actually arm one of their officers. I stunned a client meeting into silence once by asking why there was a 'Disaster Manager" position being paid $80k a year to draw up evacuation plans and routes for potential workplace violence incidents when they could spend $350 for a decent revolver and $6 for ammo and have the same protection from the security staff they already had on hand...

THe industry served my purpose while I was in VA; my wife was in law school, and I needed something I could put down quickly once she graduated and we moved. Having done it once however, and seen how the industry screws itself, I'm not in a hurry to go back. Now I've just got to find other work to fill the time between now and when I get on with the city PD ;)


September 26, 2003, 02:58 AM
My experiences with Wackenhut (particularly those who work for them) is that in many cases while they do indeed have better uniforms than most other companies they do not hire a higher caliber of personalle than any other contract company. This might be a state to state thing but it seems that their "rank" structure and "proffesional" demenour tend to attract a higher rate of the true "wannabe" demographic than your smaller regional companies.

Personally i refuse to ever work contract again. yeah, i liked going to new places and doing new things on a fairly regualar basis. And i miss my old pastime of figuring out just how badly the other guys there were screwing up in virtually every way possible. But, frankly Teuf is %100 correct. There simply is NO WAY to run a proffesional and safe contract company in this market. The profit margins are so thin that nothing beyond warm bodies is proffitable at most sites. As long as someone is willing to sacrifice safety and quality of service, and so long as people are content to pay for that. That is always going to be the level of service you are going to get. The only way out of it is to work in house for a company that has a legitimate concern for the security and safety of their buisiness. And those are far and few between.

September 26, 2003, 04:07 AM
I work as an armed s.o in Frisco,on a city contract (guard city workers collecting $)
I applied to wacky hut,they turned me down,why you may ask??
I had a .357mag, .357sig,.9mm,.40s&w and .45acp on my card from CA
bsis...but no .38 caliber!:rolleyes:
The manager interviewing me said come back with a .38 on your card.
I tried to explain how I shoot .38 all the time with my sp101 .357
but he really didn't get it.
I asked him does he know anything at all about guns? that I qualified with
a .357mag & sig so I can certainly handle a .38.
He told me he hates guns and wants them all outlawed and is glad he doesn't know anything about them:uhoh:
....Working for Frisco is just as bad sometimes,they want us to detain criminals only we are NOT permitted to have handcuffs,mace,batons...only guns!(I guess it's cheaper to shoot them dead then to pay for them for the injuries of a mace/baton/cuffs) a bunch of weird rules as well.
no .45acp (to scary I was told) no glazer or fed hydra-shok,no knives.
our supervisors have no millitary/leo background at all, and all but a few
are from China and have blackbelts in bureaucratic backstabbing and insist on putting themselves in dangerous situations.
i.e a few very obvious gangbangers were caseing us out,I couldn't articulate this to my supervisor because she barely speaks english & I don't speak Chinese,I guess my body language told the Gbangers I was willing to shoot them cause they didn't rob us.
I tried to explain how a Glock in .40 looks like a .9 or a .45 so why
not carry a .45?? (glock).
I am new to the security biz and have only been doing it for armed for 10 months I hope to go somewhere else in a few months.
I was an unarmed guard for awhile(3months),God those folks were real sheep!
actually I was armed,I just never told anyone:evil:
All the s/o's in SFCA are under the illusion that unarmed = safe
and so are the managers of those companies.
Also the s/o guard companies in Frisco are allmost all uber liberal SEIU / and are allways marching in anti war/anti Bush Demo's and back the CA gungrabbing Dem party:fire:
...So I am gonna look for a real good company,not wacky hut cause they only let their guards carry .38revolvers that they give you,I don't want some one elses damaged gun I want my Ruger sp or a new gp if I have to carry a revolver.
I carry a glock model 22, a LEO from FL told me that FL guards can only carry .38's...is that true?
anyway if anyone knows any good companies in the bay area pm me ok?

September 26, 2003, 04:44 AM
Hmmm. Unless BSIS has changed the Gun Card recently (since my last full requal a month ago) there is NO difference between .357 Mag and .38 Special on the card - mainly because if you have a .357 you still shoot .38 for the qualifier. My cards have always said ".357/.38 9MM .40 .45" since they made me drop .380 because they had trouble fitting five calibers on the card. I only had that because when I first qualified we owned a Browning BDA and wanted every caliber we owned on the card :cool: :D

I have only worked armed posts and jobs and have been away from it for about 4 years - though I may see what's out there since it doesn't look like electronic hardware design/test/development is getting back on its feet anytime soon. :banghead: I do keep my permits current.

Actually, my partner and I have considered starting our own PPO: we have the hours, degrees and supervisory experience. Just not sure I want to get into the whole personnel and payroll management and regulatory hellhole.

The main reason people contract security guards is because their insurance underwriters demand or recommend it, or some regulation or contract requires it. They will always pay the minimum to get the minimum to satisfy the need. Remember, security is 100% overhead - there is no way to quantify the benefit except by how much it saves in other overhead costs (insurance, etc.) It's a self defeating profession - the better you do your job the less reason the client can see for having you around.

'Why do we pay for security when we never have any problems?"
Well, duh, you don't have problems because you have good security.

Ed Straker
September 26, 2003, 01:33 PM
I've worked security, and I've delivered pizzas. I've been hurt worse delivering pizzas than I have working security.

September 26, 2003, 03:58 PM
My friend, a recently retired LEO, is interested in an armed security position in Florida.

Here told me that the information he received from the state says an armed guard can only carry a .38 wheel-gun UNLESS they get some type of "special permission" from the state to carry a 9mm semi-auto!

:eek: :what: :eek:

Andrew Rothman
September 26, 2003, 05:54 PM
Holy cow! That's actually true!


(6) Unless otherwise approved by the department, the only firearm a Class "CC," Class "D," Class "M," or Class "MB" licensee who has been issued a Class "G" license may carry is a .38 or .357 caliber revolver with factory .38 caliber ammunition only. In addition to any other firearm approved by the department, a Class "C" or Class "MA" licensee who has been issued a Class "G" license may carry a .38 caliber revolver; or a .380 caliber or 9 millimeter semiautomatic pistol; or a .357 caliber revolver with .38 caliber ammunition only. A Class "C" licensee who also holds a Class "D" license, and who has been issued a Class "G" license, may carry a 9 millimeter semiautomatic pistol while performing security-related services. No licensee may carry more than two firearms upon her or his person when performing her or his duties. A licensee may only carry a firearm of the specific type and caliber with which she or he is qualified pursuant to the firearms training referenced in subsection (8) or s. 493.6113(3)(b).

License classifications are here: http://www.flsenate.gov/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=Ch0493/SEC6201.HTM&Title=->2003->Ch0493->Section%206201

The two classes that can carry a 9 are Class C (private investigator) or class MA (manager of a private investigation firm)

This is the most convoluted law I've ever seen (except for the tax code)!

So why is is okay for a security guard to carry a .38 and not a .45? Or a revolver and not a semi? I am baffled!


September 26, 2003, 08:26 PM
You have to have ONE MILLION $$ INSURANCE now,up from 500 thou from last year!.
In essence if your a self starter and want to open a private security firm in CA you need the million dollar insurance.
I guess you can add it on to your homeowners insurance (if you own a home in the bay area it might be worth that much)
Seems like another obstacle to biz in CA....

So the LEO from FL was right,I work with tourist and he was suprised to see me carrying a glock especially .40,FL has got some strange laws it looks like they are giving the criminals the advantage if I was in FL
I would want at least a glock in .40 or a good .45,you know the badguys are not going to limit the guns they could carry.
I bet it's a holdover from the pre 1987 laws that did not let regular citizens carry concealed.
No wonder FL security guards are getting killed,they're not allowed to fight back...it makes zero sense an armed guard would certainly be able to get a ccw in FL and carry allmost anything he wanted but on duty he can't!

September 26, 2003, 08:32 PM
My mom's cousin was a security guard at a department store ... he was shot and killed by a shoplifter. The stuff the shoplifter stole was worth less then $20.


September 26, 2003, 08:41 PM
Hey Matt,
Each state is different in their requirements. Florida may be a hold over from the old days where even cops more or less were stuck with the 38 wheelie. And you have to get SPECIAL tickets to carry anything else. At least they let you carry two, if ya want!
Missouri only mandates a DAO or DA w/decocker(the girls in the commision off thought they were the same thing...so my DAO had to have a decocker....I explained that since it was never 'cocked' how could it be uncocked?). But they gave leeway interms of caliber....380, 38, no 357), 9m/m, 40, 10m/m, and 45. BUT you could have only ONE gun on your license and had to requalify if you changed guns.
Here in Nevada there is not state requirements other than you have to qualify with your duty gun(serial number and caliber specific...so if you switch your Glock 22 from .40 to .357 Sig, you have to qualify with BOTH calibers). BUT the work place is another matter. Some Casino's only allow 38 or 9m/m, some internal guards are not armed, some issue the weapon but most you have to provide your own in their caliber!
Fortunately my current company does not really care, as long as I qualify with it. Soooo, I can carry a cocked and locked 1911(and have, Because I Can!!), but mostly I carry my ParaOrd LDA Companion....simply because I bought it for work in Missouri, I don't want to beat up my Colts, and if I ever get into a shooting...it will be in a vault at Metro evidence for six months with no cleaning. It works for me.
Other states have other rules, but I think most of them starting shifting to semiautos only in the last decade or so....in 1983 Missouri was a .38 wheelgun only state...as I checked on such things when I got out of the Marines.
Laws are made by politicians.....so do not fizzle your brain trying to figure out the logic that may not be there!

September 26, 2003, 08:51 PM
sorry to hear about your 2nd cousin,thats sad...was he/she an armed officer?

September 26, 2003, 11:03 PM
Nope ... unarmed rent-a-cop. He was 22, in college and working as a security guard (he was a criminal justice major).

This was also about 15 years ago.

September 27, 2003, 12:12 AM
I think that Florida security guards should contact their state representatives and asked for that "old" wheel-gun only law to be updated to 2003 standards of officer safety!

:what: :what: :what:

September 27, 2003, 10:30 PM
Might do the trick.
Aren't NRA members in FL interested in this issue?
Also NY/CA which are difficult places to get CCW is there any way
to give (armed) Security CCW how would one go about changing a law like this?

September 28, 2003, 12:46 AM
Excellent point!

I think all armed security guards in Florida (as well as other states with a CCW law) should be given the option to carry the sidearm of their choice (as long as they can qualify with it) the same as any other person in that state who has a CCW permit.

Under the current Florida law, the way I believe I understand it, when you are on-duty as an armed security guard, you must carry a .38 wheel-gun.

However, this exact same person, the second he or she goes off-duty, can carry almost ANY handgun concealed with their Florida CCW permit!

I really don't understand this logic.

Perhaps, armed security guards (as opposed to LEOs) will only face "lightly" armed dirt-bags against whom a 5 or 6 shot .38 revolver is all they need.

:banghead: :what: :banghead:

Any Florida lawyers out there that maybe can explain this crazy law?

Just my 2 cents...

September 28, 2003, 04:49 AM
Been there, done that, got the t-shirt.

Would I do it again? Well, if I had no other options I would. I'd just rather keep my opinions, health, and firearms to myself from now on.

BTW I have a Bachelor's in Criminal Justice, MA and NH CCW permits and (at the time) two years experience in the MVM and Wackenhut wasn't interested in me...

September 28, 2003, 05:47 AM
Originally posted by Powderman
My hat's off to them. I consider them brothers in uniform, and will go to the wall for ANY Security Officer. To all of you in the profession--my thanks to you for being, in many cases, the first and ONLY responders. Stay safe, and go home at the end of your shift.

Thanks for a great statement like that. I work as the supervisor of the security dept. at one of our local hospitals. Before that I was an Air Force SP. Can working in a hospital be dangerous? You bet. We had one woman enter our E.R. with a gun to her head. Security disarmed her without any incident, she went on to get the help she desperately needed. At two other local hospitals two people actually did shoot themselves to death, one with shotgun the other with a rifle. We get to work with heroine overdoses, psych. patients, domestics and so on. What a cop on the street sees, we can see in our facilities. We are paid a good salary though. But, when I get spit on by some street scum, I still think the money isn't worth it. I think I would rather be punched, than spit on by some I.V. drug user. As for working with the local L.E. agency. We have a pretty good relationship. We are able to give them info on things going on in the area surrounding our campus, and they are quick to tespond when we call for assistance. And let me add, they always send enough people to help out.

September 29, 2003, 08:15 PM
How do we get that ball rolling anyhow?
It might be away to get CCW in under the radar in
states like CA/NY

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