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THE COST OF DOING BUSINESS: Almost always, security rates are determined on an hourly basis. Large cities generally will cost more for service. Security officers in La, for example, can be more expensive than Fresno. If you try to hire your own officers (‘in-house’ as it is commonly described) special licensing is involved. It’s easier, and usually more cost-effective, to use security companies for security staffing.

Currently, most California security companies will charge, typically, $14.00 dollars an hour for the unarmed officers. (note: stay in mind this $14.00 rate is what a security company will charge, not what the officer actually makes.) More than $15.00 an hour or so should be considered quite high for any security officer rate, especially in this economy, unless there is certainly unusual training or skills required to do the job. Few security guard companies will offer $13.00 one hour for their unarmed guards.

Below $12.00 an hour is extremely rare and it is reason for suspicion, since operating expenses are typically too much to enable that low of a margin. Unarmed guards under $13.00 one hour should cause you to ask the guard company how they can operate with so low a rate. What about the guards themselves? Well, unarmed guards average just about $9.50 one hour for many California cities.

For armed security officers, security companies will charge, typically, $15.50 an hour or so. Higher than $17.00 an hour or so is pricey, and below $14.00 one hour is suspiciously low. The normal armed security officer earns (himself) $12.00 an hour or so.

Use the above rate information to negotiate better deals on your security officer vendor contracts. Also consider:

TRAINING: The California Bureau of Security and Investigative Services (BSIS) oversees all training standards for California security guards. They detail specific standards, which can be found on their website.

Officer training has to be on-going, but some security officer companies tend not to comply with training requirements since they are time-consuming and dear. On-site training could very well be most important since every account has unique security needs. Make sure your security guard company will show you documentation of ongoing guard training.

Written tests taken by guards has to be completed. The questions of the test should pertain both to your specific account and general regulations and rules, mandated by BSIS. Keep in mind, the more well trained security officers are, the better prepared they may be to safeguard your business.

SECURITY GUARD’S PLIGHT: Because many security officers are low income earners and also have limited education, they can be used advantage of by unethical security guard companies. Most common pay problems include shorting officer hours and failing to pay overtime, that is a Labor Board requirement.

Additional security staff mistreatment includes harassment and safety violations. To lower security guard abuse, consider owning an open-door policy where officers can speak freely with regards to their concerns to you personally.

POOR RECRUITMENT: Because it’s expensive and time-consuming to use security, many security companies usually do not go ahead and take necessary steps to screen and interview properly. Your client invariably pays the purchase price. Have your security company devote your contract the way they conduct drug screening and background record checks, and get how and where they recruit.

POOR SUPERVISION: It’s also expensive to hire good supervisors and quite often short cuts are taken. Security staff has to be supervised. Without supervision, security staff are more likely to make mistakes. Policies and procedures should be checked. Get to know your supervisors. Otherwise part of the daily crew of guards, find out how often supervisors visit. Request supervisory reports. When mistakes happen, find out what corrective actions the supervisors took. The more involved you happen to be, the safer you and the workplace will be.

NO GUARD CARDS: Security officers must have current BSIS guard cards to them when working. There are no exceptions. Any security staff working with no valid guard card subjects the organization to your pricey fine. It easier to check online to ensure security card status. Simply Google it and this will come up. It is perfectly appropriate for you to check your security officer’s guard cards. Because forgery of guard cards happens, ask your security officers for any second ID which means you can cross-reference.

NO INSURANCE: California armed security staff are required by BSIS to become within a $500.000 general liability insurance policy. Also, worker’s compensation policy should be set up for armed and unarmed officers. Have your security vendor provide copies with their workers compensation and general liability insurance. To save cash, some security companies either don not have full insurance or get insured and after that quickly cancel their policies after having a new contract is signed. You can protect yourself and company by requesting copies of insurance certification every so often, without warning. Also, make certain your guard contract posseses an indemnification clause.

LICENSE: All California security officer companies also must be licensed. You can check license status by looking at the BSIS website.

DOCUMENTATION: All security-related problems needs to be documented. Reports are often used in lawsuits and they have to be well-written, thorough, and legible. Confirm which you have incident reports, know where they are kept, ask tlajhf read them. In the event you work using a security company, it is their responsibility to ensure all security officers write competent report, but, remember, the more involved you might be, the safer you will end up.

THERE’S MANY CHOICES: There is certainly well over a thousand California security companies. Fierce competition to earn your small business helps you several choices so invest some time and judge wisely.

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