Hiring a security firm can help protect one’s business from crime, but it is critical to find the right match for the job. There are a lot of choices in security firms but not all may be the right fit. Based on my 20-plus years’ experience in law enforcement and security, here are some questions I suggest businesses ask before hiring a security firm.
Does your security firm have proper licensing?
By hiring a legally licensed security firm, businesses can ensure they are hiring a true professional, capable of protecting their property and residents. Firms operating here should be licensed through the Arizona Department of Public Safety. This does not necessarily mean an individually licensed guard but a licensed security firm as a whole.
Are your guards trained and how much do you pay them?
Specifically, businesses should ask if the guards are trained with weapons, if they know how to execute a perimeter search, and if they know how to tell if someone is acting suspiciously. Trained guards will be able to perform these tasks and provide better security for the business’s property.
It’s also important to make sure the guards are paid well because, as in any job, people are more likely to be interested in doing their job, and doing it well, if they are getting paid more.
What is your experience working with other businesses in my industry?
Businesses should choose a security company that has knowledge and understanding of the environment in which it operates and the individual processes that need to be put in place to keep its assets safe. It almost goes without saying, but it is also wise to ask for references.
What happens in an emergency?
A security strategy should encompass elements such as responsibility, response time and security equipment. Having a procedure in place in case of emergencies will put one’s mind at rest and, if the worst were to happen, damages can be minimized. These procedures should include calling law enforcement, protecting customers and employees from danger, escorting people from the area and being a good witness for the police.
Using these questions when evaluating potential security firms will help business leaders make the right decision and ensure their property is in safe hands.
Bill Herzog is director of operations with LionHeart Security Services.