One of the most important things to understand about choosing a security guard company in Washington, DC is that there is no one size fits all solution for security guard services. Different companies have different specialties, and not every single one is going to align with your short and long-term goals. They offer wildly different solutions regarding what their employees are capable of, what types of technologies that they use and what are their areas of expertise. There are many professional security guard companies like ours in and around Washington, DC – but not every one of them is going to be the best fit for your specific location. If you genuinely want to make sure that you’re selecting the provider that is the best fit for your needs, there are a few key things that you should always keep in mind.
Is the company locally owned and operated?
One of the most important qualities that you should always look for when selecting a Washington, DC security firm involves an effort to find a company that is locally owned and operated. Large, national corporations may have access to a large number of resources – but nobody knows an area as well as people who live and work there.
Think about it like this: when you’re talking about something as important as security, you don’t want to leave anything to chance. There is indeed no “one size fits all” approach to security. Every job, environment, and client is unique. Local security companies tend to provide personalized service that is customized for your area.
Does the guard company answer their phones 24/7
Another thing to look at when selecting a Washington, DC security guard company involves the level of support that they’re able to offer you, as well as its immediacy. Simply put, you should never settle for anything less than 24 hours a day, seven days a week access to a live supervisor or live dispatchers – period, end of story. Many companies rely on voicemail for after-hours calls. Voicemail does little to address your immediate needs. Choose companies who value your business enough to have 24/7 support. You never know when
If the company that you’re thinking of partnering with does NOT offer some level of live supervisors or dispatchers, you open yourself up to scenarios like the following:
- Your security service is scheduled to start at 9:00 PM. It’s 9:30 PM and no guard has arrived. You call the company and leave a message. The company contacts you the next business day. You never received your security service.
- Its Saturday night and you find the security guard sleeping on the job. The company does not have 24/7 support. However, you have a cell number of a security supervisor who you have contacted in the past. You call the cell phone of the security supervisor. You aren’t aware that he has the weekend off for his birthday. You leave a message. He returns your call on Monday.
With live support and 24 hours a day, seven days a week service, you can rest easy knowing that someone will always be there for you when you need them the most. Regardless of the circumstances that you find yourself in or the situation that you may be facing, you have someone who will be with you every step of the way.
Make sure the security company does not hire criminals
Contrary to popular belief a person with a criminal record can get a security license in Washington DC. The Washington DC regulations state that even convicted felons can get a security license. Click here to view the regulations.
As a result, it is essential to take a close look at the security companies employment standards. Keep in mind that in Washington, DC it is possible for a person to get a security license with a criminal record, provided that:
- If they have a misdemeanor, they have been released from jail over one year ago.
- If they have a felony, they have been released from jail over two years ago.
There is nothing legally prohibiting a company from hiring someone with a less-than-ideal criminal history. This person can be a felon. Is this the type of chance that you feel comfortable taking?
For the best results, ask the security guard company are their employment standards any different than those required by The District of Columbia. Make sure that they do NOT hire people with criminal records, even if those people happen to have a Washington, DC security license. Everyone should have an opportunity to work. However, that does not mean that a person with a criminal record should have a chance to protect your property.
What type of training do their guards receive?
Along the same lines, another important factor that you’ll want to think about when hiring a Washington, DC security guard company involves the level of training that they provide to their employees. Washington DC does not have any mandatory training requirement for unarmed Security Officers (SO) or Special Police Officers (SPO). It is best only to trust security companies that train their officers.
Consider things from the following angles for a better idea of why this is so important to consider:
- Every environment is a little bit different, and the fast-paced decisions that someone might have to make during a security incident can vary wildly depending on the nature of the incident. Training helps officers know how to respond.
- Security Officer’s are working as an extension of your organization. As a result, your organization shares a degree of liability for the mistakes that the poorly trained security officer may make.
No, it is not a requirement to complete any training to get a security license in Washington DC. At the same time, quality companies can and usually will train their people. If the company that you’re thinking about doing business with doesn’t make training a priority, you should consider looking elsewhere.
How does the security company track the quality of service?
It is essential to know what systems the guard company has in place to verify that the guards are doing their jobs. For the best results, the company should have field visits by supervisors and an electronic patrol tracking system.
Look for the following tracking system capabilities
- GPS technology – Know the exact location of your security guard.
- Real-time reporting – Guard’s activities can be tracked in real-time.
- Near Field Communication (NFC) technology – System should use the latest NFC technology rather than outdated RFID technology.
- The system should allow for the guard to answer questions and submit reports electronically.
A patrol tracking system creates an additional layer of accountability for officers who are on patrol. It doesn’t just guarantee that they are working, but that the security officer is working precisely the way you need. Tracking and monitoring give you an unparalleled level of visibility over how your environment is being cared for, which itself should be enough to allow you to rest easy at night. You can learn more about patrol tracking in our previous article.
Nobody is saying that security guard companies that don’t offer this level of tracking have something to hide. However, the best private security agencies will always provide these types of options as a value-added service to their customers.
These are just a few of the essential factors that you’ll need to consider when looking for a Washington, DC security guard company. Remember that at the end of the day, these are hardworking men and women who you are trusting to protect everything you’ve worked so hard to build up to this point. This isn’t the type of thing that you want to leave to chance, which is why you should ALWAYS ask questions and NEVER enter into an agreement that does not make you 100% comfortable.
At Trust Security & Fire Watch, our number one priority involves meeting the needs and exceeding the expectations of all of our clients whenever we’re given the opportunity to do so, no exceptions. We’ve got years of experience in nearly all aspects of security and fire watch services in Washington DC, Virginia, Maryland and the Baltimore Metro area. If you’d like to find out more information about the essential things to look for when choosing a Washington, DC security guard company, or if you’d just want to sit down and talk about your specific needs with someone in a little more detail, don’t delay – contact Trust Security & Fire Watch today.