Summit delivers well-trained resources and oversight from start to finish for worry-free security.
Sixteen years ago, Summit’s founder was working as an intermediary between local businesses in the piney woods of East Texas and his fellow officers in the Tyler Police Department. By serving as a central point of contact, he hoped to bring clarity, transparency and fairness to these partnerships and place sworn officers in jobs where they could fulfill their commitment to preserve, protect and defend the community while earning a little extra income.
A lot has changed since 2007. Crime has gone up significantly and the guard industry has grown in lockstep. According to a recent TIME Magazine article, there are roughly twice as many security guards employed in the U.S. than there were 20 years ago. Meanwhile, the number of sworn officers has shrunk by 7% in the wake of a turbulent 2020.
This explosive growth in the guard space is in response to a real business need for more security support, but it has also brought to light the shortcomings of the guard model and the need for rules and regulations to govern the work of guards if they’re to be an effective security solution for private businesses.
As it stands now, the lack of regulations, coupled with little training and low pay, have seemingly created as much of a problem as a solution. While security guards are hired to make people feel safer, some civilians feel uneasy with the increased presence of guns, held by largely minimally trained, or untrained, guards. And by virtue of their lack of training, guards are put into unsafe situations. As a result:
- 309 security officers have been arrested for manslaughter or murder while on duty.
- Approximately 13,000 assaults on security officers occur every year.
- 145 security officers die on duty each year, 85% of whom are murdered.
They are harrowing statistics provided by Rick McCann of Private Officer International. But they bring to light the importance and value of oversight for the industry.
By contrast, police officers are highly trained and well-versed in local and state laws. They’re well equipped not only to recognize a threat but also to know the legal parameters of response. With that knowledge, they will respond effectively, in accordance with the law, to prevent or stop the crime and keep customers, employees and products safe.
Businesses find themselves in a conundrum. Security staff is in high demand and short supply. Summit advisors encourage businesses to proceed with caution. Guards can be valuable but it’s important to know who’s on your team. Ask about how the guards are vetted and what training they’ve received. Check the service provider’s credentials, references and track record.
The findings of the TIME article have been eye-opening, to be sure. The security industry provides a valuable service and good-paying jobs. But at what cost? Summit supports security with integrity. We strongly believe that intensive training is imperative to success. Knowing how to recognize and diffuse a potentially unsafe situation is step one. Knowing the law and how to safely handle firearms is a must.
Without a doubt, there needs to be regulations governing the security space for guards to be effective. Hire and release of security guards is not acceptable anymore. Coordinated governance is key to truly protect communities and help local businesses prosper.