Audit Contract Security Staff

 In Blog Postings, Education, Healthcare Security, Hospitality, News Articles, Places of Worship, Press Releases, Retail Security-Loss Prevention, Transportation, Uncategorized

Audit your contract security vendor if your organization plans to retain the services of a security contractor. This would include the contractor’s competency, training, supervision, equipment, insurance coverage, and so on, to ensure that they are qualified, professional, and well trained. Basically, this is part of your due diligence to determine and understand your contract security liability risks.

Risk Mitigation

It is your, the Client’s, responsibility to ensure that the security contractor and their officers follow your policies. It is also important that you request a complete copy of their policies that they will be working under at your business, as well as their post orders.

When it comes to what equipment the security officers will carry on your property, especially if they are to be armed security, you need to understand what they are carrying, why they are carrying it, and approve of all equipment. It would also be wise to understand any laws, regulations, standards, and best practices regarding the carrying of defensive tools.

Limitations on Use of Force

Your organization needs to define in writing the limitations regarding the security’s use of force that you will allow the contractor’s security officers to use.  If you leave it up to the contractor to define the use of force, and when any force is used, you will eventually regret that decision.

Litigation Avoidance

First and foremost, you can count on civil litigation when an incident happens where the security officers use force, and someone is seriously injured or even killed. When that happens, do not be surprised if your security contractor claims that you, their client, never defined what force can be used on the part of the security officers.

The reality is that your contractor will likely point the finger at your organization for not setting limits, and defining when and where force can be used. This is why it is very important that you review their policies and develop your own policies.

What is Reasonable Force

You, the client, must define what force is, when it can be used, and what are the limitations on the levels of force that can be used. If you leave it up to the security contractor to take care of Security Use of Forceeverything, they will most likely ensure that they will cover their liability exposure and could hang you out to dry in the event of litigation. One of the reasons why this is often the case is that anything that that security contractor does costs money.

For example, for them to develop policies and training curriculum, as well as conduct initial and ongoing training classes, it will cost them money. The fact is that in many cases a client retains the low bidder for services, and many times there are no costs built into that contract to cover those extra costs. Remember too, that low costs often result in low quality services, plain and simple.

Promises v. Reality

Over the years there have been many cases where a contractor did not train their officers, or properly manage them. When interviewed, they told me that the client did not request this or that.

In many cases the security contractor never provided onsite management of their officers, again, there was no budget for that. Or in some cases there was a budget, but that supervisor was managing several different sites for other clients.

Several times I found that the security contractor was not qualified to work in a particular industry and had no idea what the statuary laws were pertaining to that industry. That was a very critical risk that the client had accepted that could cost them their business.

Know Your Risks and Liability Exposure

I understand the many reasons why businesses retain a security contractor versus forming their own security department. However, in some cases they were probably better off not having any security due to the immeasurable liability exposure that they were faced with by retaining the wrong contractor.

If you are thinking about hiring a contract security firm, or already use the services of one, it would be wise to audit that firm. There are reputable firms all around the country, but there are also many firms that will only increase your risks and liability. You must know and understand the difference.

If there is no one on your staff that understands the security industry, it is time that you called on an unbiased and independent security expert to conduct that audit. Your business’s reputation and longevity may be at risk if a serious deadly force incident occurs on your property. Thus it is critical that you spend the time conducting your due diligence in advance.

It is safer and less costly to prevent an incident than it is to act in response to one.

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