There are many issues that I have seen in the security industry that create problems or are potential problems not just for a specific company but all companies in the surrounding market area. I will break these down more but these are a few, starting with licensing, unprofessionalism, misrepresentation of services, and training are the biggest I will cover. I have dealt with these on a local level and I don't understand how some companies keep acquiring contracts with behaviors not only at the employee level but the management level including the company owner.
Let's start with the issue of licensing. During a meeting with an individual who said he was working protective details and event security, I asked if he was licensed after he said he worked with several other agencies including the state police and the GOP. With that being said he had no clue he needed to be licensed or how to even go about the process. Now the disturbing part is that the State Police in our state are the licensing agency. He then stated he background checks his employees through the county sheriff. By the state statute, every employee needs to be background checked and the paperwork needs to be submitted within sixty days of the date hired. As the owner of a company knowing the licensing requirements for the state you operate in should be the first thing you look into before starting a company.
The fact that I have run into many companies that act in such an unprofessional manner by posting selfies on social media that not only include information that gives away client information but also the whereabouts of the asset. The individual I had the conversation with on licensing was telling me his client list in public. There is another company that has a K9 used for patrol that from what several individuals have commented has only been through basic obedience training and nothing else. This is not only unprofessional but a liability if it happens to be true. Now back to selfies and the social media issue. Again in the conversation with the gentleman about licensing, I asked about first aid and CPR certifications. His reply was that he did not feel he needed this because if there was an incident he would be too busy securing the scene and not rendering aid to the client. This is not a response I would want to hear if I were a prospective client looking to hire a protective detail I know social media is a great tool and I use Facebook as a way to keep in touch with people as to what the business is doing and upcoming classes we are offering to the public. However, we do not post anything that we do not have the client's permission to post or that has been approved by the company prior to posting. We have a strict policy against posting any company or client photos or information on personal social media pages unless they are shared from the company page or have approval first. We take our client's confidentiality seriously and hold that to a high standard even when people want a reference Farr & Associates asks the client for permission to release any information.
Most of the misrepresentation has been mentioned above but it is important to repeat some of this. Representing yourself in a way that implies you are licensed or provide a service that you are not qualified to provide is misrepresentation and unprofessional. This is also a liability to a client and the public that you serve if you are working at an event. When you are not willing to get training that allows you to serve a client to a standard they might expect is also misrepresentation and you should disclose the information of not being able to provide certain services so the client is informed and can decide if you are the right company to meet their needs.
Training is also an issue and I know some states have the bare minimum requirements for security personnel. This does not mean that you should not train your employees to a standard that sets them above the average security company. First aid and CPR in my mind are a must not only because it could save a life, but that life might be your own. If you work a protective details, being able to stabilize your client until EMS can arrive or be able to keep them alive long enough to get them to safety. Having a K9 that is trained to do the job of security is not so it is well-behaved but able to work to the industry standard. Firearms training and qualifications should be done not only to ensure the safe handling of the firearm but also that the individual is capable of performing proper target acquisition and proficiency. Training in the environments you operate is important. By this I mean if you have extreme weather getting out and training in the cold or the heat to ensure not only the equipment operates properly but that you can perform in the environment as well.
All Farr & Associates employees have diverse backgrounds ranging from ex-military, EMS, law enforcement, firefighting, or a combination of these. All of our employees are trained in first aid and CPR along with de-escalation, and active shooter/act of violence response training. We also have as mentioned strict social media policies and all employees are held to a high standard of professionalism through our company policies, and confidentiality through non-disclosure agreements. Our client's protection and safety is first and foremost and involvement with eh community is also important to us. We offer the same training classes to the community that we provide to our employees.
So, ask questions and do some research prior to hiring a company. What is important to you should also be important to the individual you hire. This is your safety, family, life, and assets you are trusting with the company you hire.