Clients are happy because of the bill rate and…

by todaystrainingblog

Those who read me on a regular basis know that I used to work for several security companies in the Kansas City/St. Joseph, MO. Area. I spent 20 years with them. So I believe that I can adequately comment on them and their clients. Let me say that I am not trying to detract from the officers who work hard.

I am not a big fan of security contractors that provide officers. I have a lot of arguments with the corporate mentality which also extends to their clients. Being honest…I’ve never been greatly admired by management of these contractors either, and to a lesser degree clients.

The field is littered with companies that will grovel, and lick, at the feet of clients so they can have the account. And whether that account is a construction site on a river bank or a Class A office building in an exclusive shopping district doesn’t matter. But the corporate mentality & the warm body syndrome (WBS) attitude…

The corporate mentality, WBS, & following the bottom line is the ruination of these companies, managers, & officers who wish to protect lives & property. The reasoning?  They aren’t allowed to make any decisions on their own and only expected to be automatons and blindly follow orders.

There are several ways to remedy this situation and put officers in the forefront of protecting lives & property as they should. It doesn’t matter what the threat is. Workplace violence, terrorism, theft, fraud, access control, and the myriad of other things that a security officer is asked to only ‘observe & report’ on every single shift.

Let me elaborate on several of those items that will allow security companies, managers, & officers to become more of a profession and less of a joke in sit coms, movies, & their clients. And this also would allow security officers to be called what they truly are, officers not guards.

  • Pay officers at least $15 per hour and supervisors $20. This would be a bare minimum. This pay rate shows everyone how serious and the company believes important, job actually is.
  • The contractor guarantees their services no matter what happens. And if the officer or company screw up then make them accountable not reassign the officers. Unless they are getting a raw deal from the client.
  • Guarantee their officers to be competent & trained for any post they occupy. Wouldn’t this be a major breakthrough for the industry? Why can’t we guarantee our services like most other service businesses do?
  • Complete background checks along the lines of federal ones, vetting with friends, business associates, & family members. And then proceeding down the list to addresses, phone numbers, social security, MVR, education, & everything else allowed. Would this add to the client costs? Of course, but then again, they’ll know they have the best candidate available to protect them.
  • Back up their claims with facts not bluster & false promises. Can you relate to ‘under sell & over deliver’?
  • Train their officers for 40, or more, hours not just 8, 16, or 24? Ensuring that their officers have the adequate training to actually be officers not guards & can actually handle anything that occurs on post. And why not train them for future threats as well? Nuclear, biological, chemical, terrorism, and workplace violence?
  • How about ensuring all of the officers can be a lead or supervisor? Amazing idea, as long as they don’t disregard officers who are great but not as mentally proficient as others. And not promoting those that are biased no matter the job they do.
  • Get rid of the observe & report mentality. All this does is let the sekurty gard off the hook when something happens, no matter if it’s deadly or not. Here is an example of it;


I will admit that the clients of these companies are partially responsible for this. In many, I would say most, instances the client wants;

  • Insurance breaks for having security. It adds money to the bottom line, which is really all they want.
  • They have the WBS approach to security. As long as a body is occupying the post that’s all they need or want.
  • They don’t want to pay for an ‘inconsequential resource’. Since security can’t be quantified in any reasonable manner, until after an incident…
  • Our place needs to look better than be secure. That’s why janitorial services get paid more than security officers, sad but true. Image is everything and having the building & grounds look good is better than having security officers in the lobby.
  • Those idiots don’t need to be trained in anything than observe & report. I will refer you to the above blog post & these;

Yes, I know this will make it more difficult for me to find a job within a security company. But my attitude stands. Here is the way I rank the companies I worked for in St. Joseph/Kansas City, MO;

Wells Fargo Guard Services (defunct)             D-

Allied Security (Allied-Barton)                          C

Universal Protective Services (defunct)           D-

ABM Security                                                         F

Uni-Guard Security                                              D

First Response, Inc.                                             B

I never got the chance to work for any security companies in the Phoenix area before going blind. But hey, I can try and change the industry by writing…


Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on security issues, specifically workplace violence. He’s spent nearly 33 years in the security field. Visit his Facebook page, One is too Many, where you will read about other items related to security & WPV issues. Or be a twitter follower at @robertsollars2.

I May be Blind but my Vision is Crystal Clear