NY’s Security-Guard Industry Grows Amid Lax Oversight

“TV and movies tell us security guards are bumbling fat idiots. They are the butt of a joke. Falling asleep with their feet up, they never pay attention to those security camera monitors while burglars steal gold or priceless paintings or stacks of cash. They’re easily distracted, easily gagged and tied up and — as in Die Hard or The Matrix or countless other action films — easily killed.

In real life, they work long, boring hours strolling the halls of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, waving metal detectors at Mets games, printing sticky visitor passes at commercial buildings, checking IDs at concerts, standing for hours and hours on end at public landmarks, department stores, colleges, pharmacies.

There are more than two times as many security guards than police officers in New York state and roughly 10 times as many guards as firefighters. While a lot of kids grow up itching to join the NYPD or the fire department, it’s hard to find someone who said they wanted to be a security guard when they grew up.

The guard who patrols a corporate plaza with an H&R Block and Chase Bank in Midtown wants to be a train conductor. The guard scanning IDs at a commercial office building near Grand Central dreams of a career as a stand-up comedian. The guard who works at a Duane Reade in the Upper West Side hopes to be a cop. The older guards who aren’t retired police officers, when asked what they think of a career in security, will shrug, as if to say, “It’s a job. It pays the rent.”

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Covenant Security Services Named to Forbes List of America’s Best Midsize Employers

“Covenant Security Services, the nation’s premier provider of comprehensive security services, was recently named by Forbes Media and Statista as one of America’s Best Midsize Employers in 2016. Covenant is the highest ranked security services company on the list and 66th overall out of 250 companies with over 1,000 employees.

As one of 250 companies receiving this recognition, Covenant Security Services was selected based on the attitude of its employees towards Covenant as well as the public perception of Covenant by industry employees. According to Forbes, the selection process is “based on an independent survey conducted by statistics portal Statista from a sample of 30,000 American employees working for large or midsize firms or institutions.”

“This is a great source of pride for Covenant Security Services,” Covenant President Greg Iannuzzi said. “Covenant does not exist without the efforts and hard work of our security professionals, and this is a true testament to our employee-focused culture.”

Covenant provides security services to over 150 client locations with nearly 4,000 security professionals throughout the country. Covenant is known within the security industry for its strong employee retention program, offering full medical, dental, and vision insurance along with free life insurance, a matching 401(k) program, flexible paid time off, transportation and commuter benefits, and career advancement opportunities.

In the survey conducted by Forbes and Statista, the most important metric of the assessment was the employees’ willingness to recommend their employer.”

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Private security firm takes over TSA duties at Punta Gorda Airport

Dealing with TSA at the airport may soon be a thing of the past.

Some airports, including the Punta Gorda Airport, are starting to use private security instead.

Some passengers say they are skeptical of the change to private security.

“The world is more nervous about flying than they ever have been,” said Gail Miesner, a traveler in Punta Gorda. “I would say this is not the time to add different entities.”

By the summer, you won’t see TSA at PGD. Instead, you’ll see a company called ISS Action handling security.

Pam Seay with the Charlotte County Airport Authority said the decision was made to make security more efficient and maybe even friendlier.

“I believe this will be better. Most people are never going to notice anything,” Seay said.

She also says the move saves the airport money. In addition, private companies can hire more security agents than the government can. Many hope that means a faster line.

“As long as they are competent in their job, I’m OK with it,” said passenger Kyle Bermel.

There will still be government oversight to make sure the proper safety checks are being made.

ISS is hiring for the new security positions. If you’re interested in applying just click here where you’ll find instructions halfway down the page.

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“Severe” TSA staffing shortages causing long delays at some airports

Chicago IL April 13 2016 It happened in just five minutes on a chilly, rainy Thursday morning at O’Hare International Airport — from 5:30 a.m. to 5:35 a.m., the security line at the American Airlines terminal jumped from four lanes of travelers to 10.

Passengers at the end of the line began to show signs of panic — shaking their heads, rolling their eyes, checking the time on their phones and muttering to their companions. Would they make it?

“We’re probably going to miss our flight,” fretted Kori Simonson, 36, of Chicago, who had come to the airport an hour early for a family trip to California. “I’m pretty worried.”

Airline officials and frequent travelers say these Space Mountain-type queues have become increasingly common at airports around the country.

The big lines can be blamed on Transportation Security Administration staffing reductions due to incorrect assumptions about how many people would sign up for expedited security screening, heightened security measures and a higher-than-expected increase in air traffic.

Since it started monitoring TSA wait times in late February, American Airlines has seen typical waits of 30 minutes to 60 minutes — with a high of 90 minutes. Mornings tend to be worst, but long waits are seen throughout the day. American is warning passengers to come to the airport at least two hours before their scheduled departure time for domestic flights and three hours for international.

The lines are expected to get much longer in the summer, the busiest season for air travel.

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3 held on $100G bail in Nashua mall credit-card scam

“Three people from out of state who were staying at a Tewksbury hotel are facing felony charges after Nashua police say they found them with over 250 allegedly counterfeit credit cards and debit cards.
Nashua police said in a press release that they were called to the Pheasant Lane Mall on Monday about 7:30 p.m. for a report of suspicious activity involving several people.
A mall security guard called police after being notified by employees of a store at the mall that on two different occasions a male and female tried to purchase gift cards with more than one credit card.
“It was learned that the male had used two credit cards to pay for one gift card, and that the female did not purchase the gift card because she could not get the exact money value she wanted on one gift card,” police said.
Security captured the female involved on surveillance video as she also entered another mall business to try and purchase a gift card. She then left the mall and got into the passenger seat of a vehicle outside.
Officers who responded to the call, along with detectives who were at the mall for an unrelated matter, stopped that vehicle as it left the mall and identified the occupants as Jovon William, 24, of Oakland, Calif., and Brittany Allen, 28, of East Orange, N.J.
Another male approached officers during that motor vehicle stop and identified himself as Queron Foreman, 22, of Oakland, Calif.
Nashua police said in a press release that officers found probable cause to take all three suspects into custody as they obtained a search warrant for the vehicle.
Once officers got a warrant, they searched the vehicle and said they found over 250 counterfeit credit and debit cards, over 20 gift cards and receipts, according to police.”

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TSA SECURITY WAIT TIMES INCREASING AT O’HARE

CHICAGO (WLS) — Some spring break travelers are learning the hard way that getting through airport security is taking longer than ever.

United warned customers they could stand in line for up to two hours. And American Airlines is publicly criticizing the Transportation Safety Administration for lines that cause passengers to miss flights.

People as far as the eye can see. There’s a line just to get into the line for the security maze at O’Hare.

“This feels like I’m in Disney World!” traveler Rich Frantz laughed.

People are now taking to Twitter and other social media sights to vent.

“The TSA line at Terminal 3 at O’Hare for American Air outside of the roped off lines. EVERYONE will miss their flight,” Stephanie Pratt posted.

The airlines are taking notice.

“The TSA has a duty to screen passengers and bags in an efficient manner, and that’s not being done right now,” said Leslie Scott, American Airlines spokesperson.

During the morning and late afternoon rush, American says wait times have reached an hour and a half at O’Hare.

One recent week saw more than 300 American customers miss their flights due to security delays. The TSA doesn’t release wait times at specific airports.

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Jamaica security certification enables employment in Caribbean and Europe

Kingston Jamaica March 28 2016 Security guards will soon receive training which will enable them to seek employment in the Caribbean and Europe.

Evening and week-end classes for a 12-week training programme are scheduled to begin in May 2016 at the Excelsior Community College (ECC) main campus, 137 Mountain View Avenue, Kingston 3.

The school is collaborating with Security Administrators Limited (SAL) to start the programme.

Principal of ECC Philmore McCarthy and Managing Director of SAL, Captain George Reynolds, recently formalized the partnership with the signing of a memorandum of understanding at the main campus of EEC.

Marketing Manager of ECC, Trudy-Anne Riley told JIS News that the idea to start the training course came about, because of a need to give accredited certification to guards and persons with an interest in a security career.

She said the Private Security Regulation Authority (PSRA) Act 1992 has mandated that all security guards be certified and to submit evidence of their training and certification in the form of a certificate from an approved PSRA Trainer, effective January 1, 2016.

“They had given them a timeframe in which to get the certification. So based on the fact that we are a community college that responds to the needs of the community, we saw it fit to partner with Security Administrators Limited to offer a certification course for security guards,” she said.

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Gun Storage Presents Problem For Vermont Law Enforcement

Sgt. Jason Covey sits at a conference table in the Middlebury Police Department offices. Displayed out in front of him are three guns. Each one has a little tag attached by a string, looped around the trigger like a price tag, with information about how the department acquired the gun.

“This we’ve had since 2005,” Covey explains, lifting a pistol from the table. “It was a firearm used in a violent crime in Middlebury.”

Putting the first gun down, he picks up another.

“This one we’ve had since 2000 and it’s a firearm that the serial number was purposely defaced and cannot be restored and that gun can legally never be released. So the only thing that can be done with it is stored forever or destroyed.”

These are a couple of guns the department would rather not have. But there are plenty of others that the department would like to be rid of too.

“Off the top of my head, 17 that could be destroyed today,” Covey says with a sigh.

These guns have to be stored appropriately, tagged, sometimes kept in climate controlled areas and preserved in the same shape as when the department acquired them. But they serve no evidentiary purpose.

“They take up a significant amount of space in an already packed evidence room that holds evidence and property from all our cases,” according to Covey. “That is a storage issue.”

Why can’t the department just destroy these guns? Covey says it’s complicated.

“I’m not aware of a specific rule that says we cannot,” he explains. “But the difficulties in doing so would be complying with all … Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms regulations, and having the appropriate means to completely destroy the weapon.”

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Retired cops could provide school security

Grandpa with a gun may soon be guarding your kids in school.

In February a New Jersey Senate committee voted unanimously to start the ball rolling on the creation of a new category of law enforcement officials, called Class Three Officers, eligible to be hired to patrol the corridors and grounds of schools.

They could be armed and prepared to take action whenever it’s called for.

The Bill has bi-partisan co-sponsorship in the Senate, authored by Senator Anthony Bucco, R-Morris, and Senate President Steve Sweeney, D-Gloucester.

All three Hudson Senators, Nicholas Sacco, Brian Stack, and Sandra Cunningham, are co-sponsors. However, in the Assembly it’s an all-Republican Bill, sponsored by Senator Bucco’s son, Anthony, R-Morris, and four others.

The Bill was introduced in the last session as a response to public fears after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012.

It was approved by the Senate Law & Public Safety Committee in January but gained no traction before the session ended mid-month. This time the Buccos plan to make passage a priority.

Senator Bucco said having experienced officers in the schools would certainly upgrade safety and using retired officers would mean that municipalities would not have to provide health and pension benefits because retirees were already receiving them.

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Texas police get drones to watch over spring breakers coming to town

Surf’s up and so are the drones at this popular spring break destination in Texas.

The South Padre Island police have ordered two drones and plan on flying them above partying college students, where more than 25,000 spring breakers are expected to pour in this March.

The pair of drones feature a crystal-clear 4K camera so police can keep a watchful eye in the sky on every beer pong match, keg stand and chugging contest on the beach.

But even with an extra point-of-view above the revelers, police don’t think the drones will be a buzz to any parties.

“I don’t think it’s going to change people’s behavior,” Gary Ainsworth, the city’s public information officer, told the Daily News. “Any time you have an eye in the sky, it’s better than having just eyes on the ground.”

Ainsworth said there won’t be a specific schedule during spring break their drones will be patrolling, and pointed out they were not specifically requested to watch over college students on the beach.

The officer told the News they had requested these drones a while ago, and it was just a coincidence they arrived so close to spring break.

This will be the first time the city’s police roll out their two drones in the popular town.

“We can use it for beach patrol,” police chief Randy Smith told Valley Central. “We’re looking at deploying some that have a safety feature that releases a life jacket over a subject that is in distress.”

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