7 Secrets to Selecting a Contract Security Provider

When a campus law enforcement department doesn’t have enough staff or the right type of officers, technological solutions can only help so much. Contract security companies just might be able to provide your institution with the personnel it needs to make its public safety functions complete.

If you thought selecting the right integrator was important, vetting contract security providers is no less crucial. A well-trained and well-paid squad of security officers can do wonders for the security profile of an institution. Ill-equipped and inexperienced guards, on the other hand, can sometimes do more harm than good.

Here are some points you should consider so you’ll select the right contract security provider for your organization.

1. A provider should have specialized experience.
Just like integrators, a contract security company being considered by a campus should have experience in the industry it is serving. “Each industry has its unique issues, regulatory environment and how security interacts or doesn’t interact with the public,” says Glenn Rosenberg, Allied Barton’s vice president for higher education. “All of these are critical elements.”

2. Determine if the prospect has local infrastructure and can deliver services in the region.
A contract security company must be able to do what it says it is going to do at a particular location. That means it should be able to recruit and manage in or near the area where the campus is located.

3. Does the contractor have access to best practices used around the nation and in other industries?
Depending on the complexity of a security situation, this point can be very important. One benefit of using a national provider is that it usually has access to this information. Most likely, it has learned from the experience of peer institutions in other parts of the country.

“Very often I’ll have our operations people talk with clients or our clients talk with other clients,” says Rosenberg. This helps to cultivate an information network that can come in handy.

About the Author

Robin Hattersley Gray

Robin has been covering the security and campus law enforcement industries since 1998 and is a specialist in school, university and hospital security, public safety and emergency management, as well as emerging technologies and systems integration. She joined CS in 2005 and has authored award-winning editorial on campus law enforcement and security funding, officer recruitment and retention, access control, IP video, network integration, event management, crime trends, the Clery Act, Title IX compliance, sexual assault, dating abuse, emergency communications, incident management software and more. Robin has been featured on national and local media outlets and was formerly associate editor for the trade publication Security Sales & Integration. She obtained her undergraduate degree in history from California State University, Long Beach.

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