The past two years have seen an increase in the awareness and need for private security services in the US. Following the storming of the Capitol in January, lawmakers increased private security budgets by tens of thousands of dollars. In the summer of 2021, the public school district of Champaign, Illinois hired a private security firm. Most recently, reports have shown that 150 families in San Francisco hired a private security patrol to stem the growing wave of home and car robberies.
With the recent increase in crime and violent attacks, it is easy to understand why more individuals and groups are turning toward private security for protection.
Increased Risks for Lawmakers, Families, and Schools
Following the Capitol Riots, US congressmen have felt increasingly unsafe. In the first three months of the year, lawmakers across all parties increased their spending on private security by tens of thousands, and even hundreds of thousands, of dollars. The recent murder of UK Member of Parliament David Amess, while it did not happen on US soil, has done nothing to dispel the increasing uncalm felt by lawmakers around the world.
But it is not only lawmakers who are feeling the need for private security. In the summer of 2021, the Champaign, IL Police Department announced that officers would be pulled out of the district’s public schools due to a shortage of police officers. The school district responded immediately by making an emergency hire of AGB Investigative Services to help keep students safe. The district estimates that private security will cost over $500K for the entire school year.
In San Francisco, more than 150 families hired a private security patrol to watch their streets, which have recently seen a surge in home and car robberies. According to The San Francisco Chronicle, the city’s Central District saw a 753% increase in car break-ins between May 2020 and May 2021.
Alan Byard, a Patrol Special Officer, patrols the streets of the neighborhood between 8:00 pm and 5:00 am. He said that his business from residential clients has doubled since the coronavirus pandemic. In the Marina District of SF alone, he started out with 70 client families and currently has 150.
What Should You Look for When Hiring Private Security?
If you are considering hiring private security, for you, your family, community, place of worship, etc., you should consider:
Reputation – Reputation is most important when hiring a private security firm. Checking out its ratings on Google are not enough (though it is a start). Personal recommendations from the company’s clients are the best, although this can sometimes be difficult in this industry due to confidentiality restrictions.
Experience – A company with experience is better than one without. Even if a new company has trained, qualified security members, no amount of training can replace experience in the field and administrative skill.
Staff training and qualifications – Depending on the type of security needed, look into the type of training and qualifications of the staff. Security for a high-profile lawmaker might have different requirements than security for a public school. Find out what the firm’s specialty is before hiring.
Interfor International has specialized in security services for over 40 years, including physical security consulting, cybersecurity, threat monitoring, vulnerability assessments, and much more. To learn more about Interfor’s services, contact us here.