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.
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.
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?
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.
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.