Vehicle patrol services in Austin
October 20th, 2015 by Texasnews

“Are vehicle patrol services effective or not?” Businesses experiencing thefts and issues with trespassing, etc. would love to know the answer to this, which solely depends on the level of criminal activity currently taking place on the premises.

  • Increase in criminal activity AustinAre you experiencing burglaries or a sudden spike in thefts or vandalism?
  • Have loiterers and trespassers began frequenting your property?
  • Are you seeing an increase in suspicious activity on your property?
  • Do you, your staff or guests feel threatened in any way?

Chances are a patrol service isn’t a favorable selection if you answered yes to any of the above.

How effective are vehicle patrol services?effective security patrol service Austin

Vehicle patrol services are pretty much a hit or miss service because the guard drives through your property at random intervals, and is generally not on your property when the crime is in progress or long enough to provide any lasting criminal deterrence to the area.

Many security companies sell this service as a “Peace of mind service” or a “door check service” to their clients, but these clients have to factor their attractive low cost versus real results, visibility, reduction in crime, and overall presence.

Businesses experiencing thefts, threats, and ongoing criminal activity, to include low level issues such as trespassing, etc., will never get the results they seek out of a random vehicle patrol service and often become frustrated. This is mainly due to security providers “overselling and over-promising” the capabilities or limitations of a vehicle patrol service.

Vehicle patrol versus guard services A vehicle patrol service is never meant to take the place of a posted guard which provides maximum protection for the property, but all too often clients requiring a posted guard service, hire a patrol service instead due to budget, and expect the same level of protection – which simply won’t occur.

In most cases, criminals monitor a property before going in for the steal. They check to see if it will be an easy job; if they’ll be able to grab and go without being caught; and if anyone such as security is on the premises to catch them in the act; if so, they’ll check the guard’s patrol patterns to track an exact time to move forward.

Even though all vehicle patrol companies patrol in a random manner, it does not take a rocket scientist to know once you see the patrol car leave the property, chances are the guard won’t be back for at least an hour… which gives criminals quite a bit of time to strike.

Random vehicle patrol checks leave large gaps in protection which criminals see and take advantage of!

busted committing a crimeKeep in mind: the last thing criminals want to do is get caught in the act! They try their best to avoid being apprehended, so more than likely they will move on to the next property that doesn’t have a guard who can identify or arrest them.

If you utilize a vehicle patrol service that conducts two to four sporadic checks per night at intervals that last less than ten minutes per check on your property, clients must be aware that this is very little to no protection at all.

posted security guard

Countless businesses have reported the same level of break-ins or issues while they were contracted with a security patrol service due to the aforementioned gaps in protection and presence on the property.

The whole idea to deter crime away is security presence; that said, driving through 2-4 times a night at ten minutes each time is not too much presence, and results will be minimal.

Note: with lower or incorrect pricing for a patrol service, most guard companies cut corners and may skip some of the checks clients have contracted for, to include the amount of time spent at their location.

Be sure to ask for not only proof of the guard being on the property but also proof of Proof of security servicethe time spent on the property.

Many companies’ selling point is that they have GPS tracked cars to prove they were on your property; this does not prove the guard got out of the vehicle, made foot patrols and checks, or interacted with anyone.

Some guard companies use cameras or take pictures as proof their officers were on the premises; this does not show everything they checked, all interactions, patrol methods, investigative techniques, and customer service. Often times, it’s simply a snap shot of the pool or the main office, then back to the patrol vehicle, and off to the next property.

Again this type of service is not meant to stop any crime, it is mostly used to provide the illusion of security, as nothing beats a posted guard on your property that does not leave the grounds.

Are patrol services a waste of money?

Mobile security services Austin

Mobile security patrol services are not efficacious if your property is experiencing an increase in criminal activity or has a substantial amount of criminal activity occurring, such as break-ins, loitering, robberies, burglaries, and so forth; which at this point, patrol services are a complete waste of time and money; a standing guard service is highly recommended – period!

However, if you’re not experiencing medium to high level criminal activity and require some vehicle patrol officer appeal to your establishment, these services Vehicle patrol officer Austinare perfect. You will make onlookers think twice about crossing lines and you will give your visitors that extra touch of security they so rightfully deserve.

Make sure you check into the company you are considering. Be sure to ask if their guards are drug tested, undergo some form of background and mental evaluation checks; also ask about the guards’ level of training… the last thing you need is a guard who lacks training on your property.
For more information about mobile patrol services, contact SRS

 

Posted in BUSINESS SECURITY, SECURITY GUARDS Tagged with: , , ,

April 23rd, 2015 by Texasnews

There are convicted criminals working security jobs right now…and every business who has a security guard service should be aware of this.

Did you know the state of Texas will allow and license convicted criminals to work security? Yes, It’s true.

If you are a convicted criminal and your crime is over ten years old, the state of Texas deems you are safe and will license you. The only permanently disqualifying crimes are a sexually violent offense, as defined by Article 62.001, Code of Criminal Procedure, or a conviction for burglary of a habitation.

If you have a misdemeanor conviction which is over five years old, the state of Texas will license you to work security and safeguard individuals and their property.

Some security companies that claim they conduct background checks actually rely on the State’s findings, and if the State says the applicant is “OK,” then those security companies will then “OK” the applicant. The problem is the state does find the prior conviction on the record and does nothing about it if it falls within their very broad guidelines.

Why these low standards exist is unknown???

In an industry such as “security,” where guards are providing services at all types of locations such as retirement homes, schools, apartment complexes, banks, jewelry stores, etc., one would think the standards would be significantly higher.

Jobs are hard to come by, but should convicted criminals work security jobs?

When a client is contracting with a security agency, they assume and are told that background checks are done, and assume that every guard showing up on their property is “clean as a whistle;” sadly, this is not true and a large amount of guards working in the industry have criminal records.

Guard companies are well aware of this matter, as they are employing these individuals often for lower wages and therefore remain silent regarding this issue – which enables some guard companies to offer extremely low rates because they’re paying their guards an extremely low wage if not minimum wage.

Private Security Contractors should educate the Client

Convicted criminals cannot posses a firearm and thus, cannot work as a Commissioned Officer or even a Level-4 Bodyguard (as a Commissioned license must be possessed with the Level-4), so most remain (or hide) at a Non-Commissioned Level-2 for that reason and don’t seek additional training.

Convicted criminals cannot take the Level-3 class for educational purposes, as they cannot not possess the firearm required to complete the course, additionally Ex-felons cannot, by state law, wear body armor.

⇒⇒⇒FYI, Security Companies:

It does a client no good to show them what nice uniforms or patrol cars equipped with GPS, dash cameras and laptops you have if you’re allowing convicted criminals to drive your vehicles on their property.

Offer proof of drug tests and criminal backgrounds of your staff

Security clients across the state who assume all their guards have a clean background would be shocked and horrified to learn they might have a convicted criminal working as a security guard with a criminal background on their property.Ex-felons working security

Security Associations, Homeland Security, DPS, the Governor’s office, and the Board should address this issue… Indeed; It Is An Issue!

In the News: Security guards caught stealing laptops from Facebook – see more here.

“How do we raise the standards in the industry?” 

Increase the level of professionalism and public perception/trust; weed out the problem individuals (lackluster performance, not personable, not customer-service driven), and do away with archaic training methods – times have changed.

100% drug tests at pre-employment – random and quarterly; should be done by an outsourced location, not the company (conflict of interest). *DPS should require proof of a current drug test for all security applications and renewals – they currently do not.

Establish a zero-tolerance for hiring convicted criminals regardless of how many years ago the conviction took place; there are numerous amounts of out of work individuals with clean backgrounds to employ in the state of Texas.

Regardless if you are an armed or unarmed security company, insist that all your officers/guards have gone through the full 40-hour Commission class prior to applying with your company; this provides you with a better-trained officer who possesses more education than the six hour, Level-2 trained guard.

What can Clients do?

  1. Stop going for the lowest bidder; these guard companies make cuts in areas you don’t want cut (drug test, background checks and good officers).
  2. Demand a copy of a recent drug test and a background check from each guard working on your property, to include a copy of the licenses (pocket cards) each guard is supposed to carry with them at all times (state law).
  3. Demand quarterly drug test results.
  4. Demand those drug tests are done by an outside source and not some discount kit performed in the security company’s office.
  5. Insist that you see (in writing) that the company you hire has a “zero-tolerance” for criminal background at their company and that they will NOT hire or place any guard on your property with a criminal background.*Run away from companies that refuse this; there are many that won’t refuse and want your business.
  6. Insist all guards on your property obtain more training than the State’s minimum of six hours; insist the training is completed by a licensed training academy and not some in-house training… who’s checking the standards?

There are many companies willing to provide the industry and their security officers with higher standards; SRS SERVICES is one of them. Don’t allow your focus to be on a patrol car, the gadgets it’s equipped with, or a salesperson; to earn your business and trust, you should be focused on who the guard on your property is and what the guard’s background and level of training is.

Should guard companies hire ex-felons?Security guard jobs austin

Convicted criminals should be able to find employment but the security guard industry should NOT be the particular field in which employment is given. With so many individuals putting their trust in security to protect their properties, staff and customer-base; this shouldn’t be the industry that is relaxed when sifting through background checks and determining individuals to “guard” others and their belongings… convicted criminals should not work as security guards.

If you agree that allowing felons to provide security guard services is deceitful and would like to have a hand in raising the industry’s standards, contact DPS at (512) 424-7293, then hire a company that will NOT have a convicted criminal on your property.

Click here for a guard service with your best interest in mind.

Posted in SECURITY GUARDS, SECURITY LAWS & REGULATIONS Tagged with: , , , ,

April 17th, 2015 by Texasnews

Do security guards actually prevent crime at churches? This a question that has been asked by many. A short answer to this question: crime is less likely to happen where criminals feel there is law enforcement or security on the premises – you can do your research here and check stats; most of the churches attacked did not have a security team or police officers on the property.

Crime at churches often occur when there is absolutely no protection on site. The last thing people want to believe is that someone would attack church goers but the sad reality is, crime is everywhere and occurs any time, at any location – and yes, even on church grounds.

According to Noelle Swan, in the past 15 years, more than 781 deadly attacks have occurred in the United States in places of worship. Vehicles are being burglarized in church parking lots; church members are being targeted and robbed, and worshippers are being murdered during services.

Man with a Shotgun Kicks in Church Door (see video):

Some churches have decided to get their congregation involved and establish a safety ministry to act as lookouts for suspicious individuals entering the property. They’ve also asked any off-duty police officers who are members to help out and volunteer to protect the members and visitors. The ministry has meetings to discuss safety precautions in the event they are attacked and have to react without law enforcement on site.

Prevent Church Crime16 Ways to Help Prevent Crime at Churches

***Conduct a security risk analysis prior to purchasing security equipment. Often equipment is purchased and installed only to discover that it does not meet expected needs or solve the problems since needs and problems were never identified and properly assessed in the first place.

  1. Following a security risk analysis, form a safety and security committee and select a chairperson to provide leadership.
  2. Train ushers, greeters and other key volunteers to recognize, report and respond to suspicious activity or a security or safety incident.
  3. One or more trained persons from the safety security committee should remain posted at designated areas to observe people exiting cars and walking towards the church. Part of training is to be observant for signs of stress or suspicious actions.
  4. An emergency plan should be developed and tested annually in response to any natural or man-made disaster that could occur in your area. Include Fire, Police and/or EMS in annual testing and formulating plans. This requires work but there are many inexpensive books and free government publications available to assist with emergency planning.
  5. Review outdoor lighting to make sure it is sufficient.
  6. Maintain plants and shrubbery low to the ground to reduce hiding places.
  7. When opening and closing your church facility, pay close attention to your surroundings and be extra careful. Depending on your environment, time of day and other activities occurring in the nearby area, you may want to implement opening and closing procedures.
  8. A well thought-out and installed burglar alarm and fire alarm system will help protect church assets.
  9. Ensure that a process exists to release children to parents or authorized adults.
  10. Perform background checks on both volunteers and paid staff that have responsibility for children. There should be no exception for this rule where responsibility for children exits.
  11. Conduct background checks on all the safety security team regardless of involvement with children.
  12. Personnel records and other sensitive information must protected from unauthorized access.
  13. Two people should remain present from time funds are collected until counted and stored. Key control for essential doors and containers for valuables must be managed.
  14. Major or expensive assets should be marked in case of theft and inventoried at least annually.
  15. Be proactive and observant for safety violations such as exposed wiring, locks that don’t work and cleaning chemicals that are not stored properly. Safety and security go hand-in-hand.
  16. The most important strategy or action that can be taken to prevent security incidents is to increase security awareness with all members. Courtesy of Jim McGuffey and Church Security Consultant.com

Church security AustinChurch Security Guards Can Help Reduce Crime

The above may be a tall order for some churches; to add, the average person does not have the level of training needed to guard a facility and people. It’s a great strategy to impose safety precautions but churches should go a step further and either get their safety ministry professionally trained to handle crime on their church grounds or outright hire security officers and take the stress off the congregation as a whole.

Being on the “look-out” for criminals is one thing, but what happens when three or more criminals are attacking a church at one time? Most church goers are not trained for that type of occurrence and are not armed to handle active shooters on the property.

Churches should involve their members and educate them about safety but they should also include a security training program that keeps them on top of their game in the event that a crime does break out on church grounds.

No one wants to think of this worst case scenario but again, it happens and more often than you think. Question –Security guards: Do they prevent crime at churches? Answer – Absolutely! They not only prevent crime at churches, they take the stress off the church members having to worry about their safety or lack thereof.

To consult with a security expert regarding the matter, click here.

Posted in BUSINESS SECURITY, PERSONAL SECURITY, SECURITY GUARDS, SECURITY MANAGEMENT, SECURITY TRAINING Tagged with: , , , ,

January 22nd, 2015 by Texasnews

Why hire a security guard service? It’s essential if you want to provide your business with professionals who have the knowledge and skills to protect your assets and deter crime. Whether it be walking the aisles of your store to reduce theft or providing an improved level of security in your parking lot, the presence of a security officer can help eliminate crime on your property.

The goal is to reduce crime in areas that would otherwise be a target.

Take for example the parking lot of a busy mall; it is notorious for robberies, assaults, and even vandalism; however, with more malls utilizing security guard services, these professionals have been able to deter crimes and ensure that the shopping experience people have is safer.

Even having a security professional in an office building to screen visitors that enter the structure and make certain only authorized persons are allowed on the property provides a sense of security for guests and staff; to add, the security professional can also escort guests/staff to their vehicles and provide high visibility that can reduce the risk of crime occurring on or near the location.

Security Guard Service in Austin

The city of Austin hosts everything from sporting events to concerts and other public and private functions where large crowds gather. Having a reliable and professional security service will help give attendees a pspecial event guards austineace of mind.

If a brawl were to ensue, the security officers would step in and defuse the situation before it escalated, or just the guards’ presence alone may prevent the altercation from even taking place – prevention is far less expensive than the cost of repairs.

Security and HOAs

Many residential communities would like to keep their neighborhoods safe but neighborhood watch groups can only do some much between the hours of 1am – 6am, the neighborhood is not on watch but the burglar is. A security officer patrolling the area can stop a criminal from car theft and entering homes.

Preventive Measures at Apartment Complexes

apartment security austinCurfew issues, break-ins, and unwanted visitors… every Apartment Manager’s worst nightmare. Providing a posted guard will definitely take away the manager’s stress and help residents feel secure knowing they can safely enter their apartment and not worry about their car or place of residence being broken into.

If you are considering hiring a guard company, check into that guard company.

Austin Crime Rate Statistics 

Austin Crime Stats

Property Crime Rate Comparison:
National Median – 29.1
Texas – 34.72
Austin – 53.05
Chances of becoming a victim in Austin – 1 in 19

 

Tips for Hiring a Security Guard Service

The following are also things to look for:

  1. Do they have the proper credentials to operate in your area?
  2. Are their security guards professionally dressed and approachable?
  3. Is their reputation positive or have there been a number of filed complaints against them?
  4. How do they handle communication when a problem arises?

The last thing you need is a guard that doesn’t possess any licenses, not properly uniformed, isn’t approachable and has an attitude problem.

Imagine this: you have an upset client, resident, or customer that needs the guard’s assistance because your staff isn’t around to help the client with his issue; the guard isn’t personable, doesn’t really care to assist your customer, has very little training, and makes matters worse.

Avoid the aforementioned…

Remember the security guard represents your business and you; not to mention, is generally the first person people see when they arrive on your property. So be sure to select a great company with professional and trustworthy security officers to provide service on your property.

Posted in BUSINESS SECURITY, SECURITY GUARDS Tagged with: , , ,