There are an estimated 1.5 million private security officers in the United States; approximately three times the number of public law enforcement officers on all levels of government. Since 9/11, security concerns have caused organizations in both the public and private sectors to increase their investment in security services adding more personnel and equipment dramatically above that which was already being invested in security in the U.S. But whether the concern over security is the focus of attention in the nation’s government agencies, in a manufacturing plant in middle-America or on a school campus or community hospital in New England, the question of whether to contract out for security to a private vendor or do it in-house needs to be explored.
For organizations in which security extends only as far as policies with regard to access to the facilities and managerial control over employee conduct, a sudden recognition of the need to incorporate formal security into the organization’s operational activities can be vexatious particularly when the decision makers are navigating in un-chartered waters. Ultimately it is a careful risk analysis which takes into consideration the assets to be protected, the policies to be enforced, the vulnerability to loss and injury, the special concerns of the organization and other factors unique to the operation that can help illuminate the advantages of in-house or proprietary security over contracted security services. In either case, an understanding of the costs, the risks and advantages of one over the other should be explored before going forward.
Whether it is decided to establish a formal security organization from within or to bring in a security vendor, additional questions of personnel selection, training, supervision, record keeping and the employment of technology in securing the premises should also be examined. A security plan will need to be written and an assessment of liability for security negligence will also be part of the consideration to round out the picture of the work to be done. These considerations should also be shared with the insurance provider and the organization’s legal counsel to ensure that the final package is complete and within whatever budgetary constraints prevail.
For many organizations, security is already built in. Utilizing the eyes and ears of the workforce, the emergency skills already developed among staff members with law enforcement, military, medical and communications training to name just some of the important skills upon which a good security program is built, and sound emergency situation policies and procedures, with a little fine tuning a competent security response capability is in place. In such a situation, contracted perimeter protection and suitable electronics may be adequate for most if not all reasonably foreseeable risks.
Security decisions have been made more critical than ever before in not only maintaining order and protecting property and personnel but also in ensuring that in world in which prolonged business interruption is a goal of terrorism that every organization be back on line as soon as possible after an emergency event. FRAC can help in assisting with the process of discovering the best security form for any circumstance; to assist in the employee selection process; to develop adequate training programs; in the preparation of a security plan and in the many details necessary to meet the challenges of the organization’s security risks. FRAC is also competent to work with legal counsel and insurance providers to ensure that exposure to liability for security related losses are as well insulated as possible.