Private security companies (PSCs) are firms that offer privately owned security and protection services. They are non-governmental in nature and the clients to whom they are contracted are charged by the company for the services offered. These firms offer protection to companies, individuals, valuable property and the government in some occasions also might also hire their services. It is a fast-growing industry worldwide.
Private security firms are tasked with ensuring the safety and order, therefore they have a great responsibility of eliminating danger and to constantly be on the lookout for situations that may compromise the security of their clients. The firm should be completely reliable and to do this, its staff should be well and adequately trained for the job. Private security firms rely heavily on human labor for the provision of their services (Lipman, 1988). These include; bodyguards, security guards, private investigators, Para police, security agents, alarm responders, bouncers and private patrol officers. These private security employees are important in the enforcement and provision of security, therefore, it is mandatory for them to meet the necessary legal requirements for the job. In most parts of the U.S and other countries as well, private security firms and their employees require licensing in order to be recognized legally.
The legal issues pertaining to the hiring of private security personnel are; firstly, a criminal-background check should be carried out to ascertain that the individual could be trusted to carry out the job without himself being a danger to the safety and security of the property or individuals entrusted to his watch and care. Secondly, before hiring the law requires that the company should find out more about the individual’s character either through administering a questionnaire or an oral interview. The security firm is also supposed to look into the personnel’s qualifications; the candidate should be qualified for the position, through either adequate experience or educational background. On hiring, the firm is required to train the employee adequately on how to perform the job assigned to him.
The law also regulates the possession and use of firearms by private security personnel. Security officers carrying weapons in their jobs are required to have additional licensing and training on how and when to use the weapons. The law also prohibits them from carrying and using the weaponry when they are off-duty. Private security officers are forbidden by the law from using unnecessary force while carrying out their job.
Some private security companies fail to hire and train their employees in accordance to the standards provided by the law. As a result, the security of many people and property stands at risk due to the negligent-hiring and training by the security firms. For example, there have been many cases of the abuse and misuse of force by some private security guards, robberies due to negligent or poorly trained security guards and mishandling of firearms (Hess, 2008). In some cases, some private security personnel are even involved in theft of the property that they are entrusted with to guard. This becomes a liability to the private security firms because they risk losses because of lawsuits and losing clientele due to a tarnished reputation.
It is therefore essential that the private security firm adhere to the code of standards and ethics that are established by the law. Firms should ensure that they only hire personnel who meet the required minimum age, qualification level and have no criminal records. They should also ensure that their in-house training methods are efficient and suitable for the specified job descriptions. The personnel hired should also be licensed before they start on their designated jobs, these will greatly reduce negligence and lack of professionalism of security employees. Private security firms can greatly reduce the cases of theft by their security staff by offering them good remuneration packages, in order to prevent them from feeling tempted to steal the money and property left under their watch. Lastly, security firms should regularly evaluate the performance of their employees in terms of the complaints received about them and how effectively they perform their duties. Good performance can be reinforced through offering rewards.
Hess, K.,M., (2008).Introduction to Private Security, Belmont; California: Cengage Learning.
Lipman I.,A., (1988). The Private security industry: issues and trends, Beverley Hills; California: Sage.