Combined with better wages and benefits, comprehensive training programs can further reduce turnover and develop the skills of high-performing security professionals.
Rigorous employer/union training programs are especially important in today’s lax regulatory environment–which sets few standards for security officers–and in failed markets where contractors slash training budgets in order to compete on cost.
For those companies that have made capital investments in security technologies–video monitoring systems, alarm systems, etc.–officer training is critical. Only with capable officers on duty will capital investments in security pay dividends in greater safety and protection.
“We instituted a paradigm shift in how we looked at training. We now look at it not as liability avoidance but to improve quality.” — Ben McGlaughlin, director of security for the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Case Study: New York Safe and Secure
New York Safe and Secure is a comprehensive labor-management training program that prepares officers to meet today’s security challenges.This 39-hour program was created by SEIU Local 32BJ in conjunction with the Realty Advisory Board, John Jay College and the Partnership for New York City, a membership organization comprised of 200 CEOs from New York City’s top corporate, investment and entrepreneurial firms.
An NYPD sergeant with 22 years experience in private security and law enforcement manages the union’s Best Practices Training in Security Project, which is focused on commercial office buildings. The program has been such a success that the union, the NYPD and apartment building owners are creating a similar course to improve security at residential buildings as well.
According to Security Director’s Report, even after 13 to 20 weeks on the job, a new officer can only be expected to perform at a 75 percent productivity level. Between the time a security department identifies the need for a new officer and the time the new officer is up and running, an average of $5,575 in expenses may be incurred.
According to Securitas, the world’s second-largest security provider, from 2000 to 2002 there was a 25 to 40 percent wage increase among officers in France, Spain and Portugal. Turnover of personnel during the same period decreased from approximately 100 percent, initially, to 20–50 percent after the wage increase.