How does your Guard Service measure up?
I've been in the security / protective services business for over 30 years. I started as a part time patrolman before I got out of high school, and I've worked in nearly ever facet of facility, personal and government security, as well as in Federal law enforcement since 1990. One thing that I have rarely seen built in to a security services contract is an audit mechanism, a means of assessing that your contracted security services provider is delivering the service they are being paid to perform, within the terms of the contract.
You, the client, are paying X dollars per month, hour or year for your security services, which are supposed to be licensed, bonded, insured and the guards, security officers or agents performing those services are obligated to be licensed by the State and thus trained to a certain standard - generally to insure that insurance, statutory and licensing requirements are met so as to reduce liability premiums and overall risk exposures. Those terms and conditions not being met invites additional liability, as there not being any oversight or performance audit of the security program, no matter how basic (such as a courtesy patrol or static entry control guard), creates a gap for potential negligence claims.
Now that your company, estate or organization has its security program in place, who insures that the security guard service contractor / provider is meeting its contractual obligations / requirements, placing guards on your account / property who have been trained to the standard outlined in your contract with the security company, equipping them, following the scope of work expressed in the written agreement?
It is true that some of the larger security firms have "consulting" divisions that can perform these services, but is the necessity for an audit or quality control mechanism expressed in your contract? Without a quality control / audit clause, this is an add on service that won't be included or performed, no matter what you're told throughout the sales process. This begs the question though as to how an internal "consulting" division of a for profit contract security company can objectively audit and initiate corrective action related to shortfalls, errors, omissions or breaches of contract of one of its dependent divisions performance.
In many cases that I have witnessed throughout my career, the only means by which to effectively achieve the compliance of the contracted provider is by having an outside, independent, third party entity working on behalf of the client, insuring that contract violations are identified, a true and comprehensive gap analysis and needs assessment is performed, and that corrective action is put in place to resolve any issues identified through the audit process.
I'd encourage any entity paying for security guard services to consider having an audit performed of your security program, particularly in the event of recent litigation, or upcoming contract negotiations with your security services vendor. You'll have a much better informed view of the services you're actually receiving from your contract security provider, and be in a far more enlightened and empowered bargaining position, in addition to demonstrating a proactive, liability and risk exposure reduction position, particularly when corrective actions are put in place following an audit of this nature.
Should you be interested in learning more about the process, or discussing options related to auditing your security program, please contact us at (844) 647-7327.
Tony R. Myhre - Partner and Chief Operating Officer