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Why Private Security

Sherice Henry

Hollywood interpretations of private security officers such as Paul Blart, the mall cop, give security officers a bad name. Perpetuated representations are not an accurate depiction of private security. Private policing has been prevalent since the mid-1800s' in the days where watchmen oversaw railroads, trains, and cargo. Although these peace officers' focus has shifted, the concept of protecting people and property by enforcing preventative and precautionary methods has not. The need for physical security continues to be an essential part of our society, especially in light of recent civil unrest events.

What is private physical security?

Private physical security are services provided by for-profit, private security firms. Generally speaking, security firms are regulated by state mandated regulations. Such regulations require private firms to comply with minimum and sometimes strict regulations where training, development, and eligibility requirements are concerned.

What are the benefits of private security?

Private security firms invest time and money to develop security officers. Dedicated to the philosophy of observe and report, security officers have a range of experience, from former law enforcement and military to customer service support. Companies partner with private security firms to employ well-trained security staff at their sites. When you partner with a security firm, you hire security officers and a management team to develop and oversee a security program. Most security managers have cross-functional experience and can create a security program unique to the needs of your organization. A thorough manager will dedicate the time necessary to understand your facility. Resources such as risk and vulnerability assessments evaluate the current security program and identify gaps. These assessments provide perspective on processes such as access control, lightning, and camera utilization. This evaluation can uncover vulnerabilities you never knew existed. Along with a renewed sense of safety, one of the better benefits of hiring an outside security company is the appointed security manager oversees the security officers so you can focus on running your business.

An additional benefit to private physical security firms is the introduction of technology. As the cost of physical labor continues to climb, most security firms acknowledge this and propose technology to supplement officers and create a well-rounded security program. These technologies have many benefits, from restricting physical access and monitoring the environment for changes to authentication of identity, verifying access authorization, and assessing affiliation. Generally speaking, security companies have access to technology, knowledge, and experience beyond small in-house security programs. As an example, consider a Human Resources Manager who doubles as a Security Director. The unfamiliarity of security, let alone technology, creates unconsidered vulnerabilities.

Lastly, most private security companies have a special relationship with law enforcement. Find a security manager who belongs to organizations like the America Society for Industrial Security (ASIS) or your local law enforcement chapter. ASIS brings together security professionals to discuss challenges we face as a society and how security can combat these challenges. Different perspectives provide benefits an in-house security director may not have.

Why Private Security Sherice Henry 01/23/2021

Just as scammers update their trade to penetrate weaknesses, security managers and officers must stay current with new threats and trends.

Why not In- house security?

Let’s face it. Outsourced security can be expensive. But what are the alternatives? Some companies may choose to create an internal security department, including a security director, supervisor, and security staff. A security department can be a viable but costly option. A second approach to in-house security involves employees doubling as security staff. This additional responsibility almost always comes second to an employee's primary duties. Rarely do these employees receive the training required to develop and maintain a security program. Remember, you get what you pay for!

Choosing the right security firm

So, you’ve chosen to hire a private security firm for your physical security. Choosing the right company may seem like a daunting task. The countless hours of interviewing, reading contracts, and devising a security program are enough to make anyone walk away. But the bottom line is, it’s about the right fit. Find a security company that understands your needs and has experience in protecting the type of company which you represent. Meeting with the salesperson is great, but don't stop there. Know your management team before signing on the dotted line. It's essential to know whom you will work with through day-to-day operations. Seek a manager whose priorities line up with yours. Establish regular meetings and procedures for when an emergency occurs.

Much goes into establishing a reliable security program. These trained security officers are a valuable part of any team so don't scoff at your friendly uniformed security officer next time you see them. One day you may forget your badge at home and may need that officer’s assistance. Security officers play a pivotal role in our comfort and safety and are integral to any solid corporate security program.

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