Let’s start by advising that this is intended to be a high level overview and not a state-by-state or metropolitan jurisdictional driven breakdown. However, if you are looking for such a thing, this is as decent a resource as one will find out on the net for information for a consolidated breakdown. Although we recommend going directly to the governmental entity in each respective state to illicit information directly from them as laws & statutes can change from year-to-year.
As a 2010 US Department of Justice funded research report points out, private security is an essential element of protecting persons as well as intellectual & physical property of business’ today. The private security industry has been experiencing consistent growth over the past approximate decade period of time as evidenced by a 2017 report by Statista detailing the global revenue forecast for private security to be approximately $96.3b by 2018. North America’s share of this is purportedly about 24%. Moreover, a Forbes article from August 2017 highlights that the US Department of Labor statistics claim there are over 1.1m private security officers in the US compared to 666,000 police officers. Buried within that number are those personnel operating in the Executive Protection industry as there is no separate line item for tracking these personnel specifically. The ranks within the Executive Protection segment of the industry however are growing rapidly. With each passing week/month/year there are more and more high net worth individuals coming into their own. This is causing the rapid growth within this segment of the private security services field and the need for professionalization, standards, and best practices now. With all of these moving parts in business growth, training, recruiting, hard skills, soft skills, operational tactics, etc. we cannot lose sight of our ethics. Our ethics define who we are. The French Philosopher, Albert Camus, is quoted as saying:
“A Man Without Ethics is A Wild Beast Loosed Upon This World“
There are numerous opportunities and temptations out there for any one of us to let our ethics slide. This is however a very slippery slope. I would go so far as to say that a person’s ethics are exemplified as to what they do (how they act) when no one is looking or watching over them. Statutes, laws, regulations, licensing, best practices, etc exist for rules and creating/operating on a level playing field with each other. There are some who may wish to try to bend or break said rules. They’re out there today and they give all of us who make every attempt to operate above-board a bad reputation as their actions impact the industry negatively as a whole. It’s such actions that make the news unfortunately. Take a look over the news reports on the private security monitor from the University of Denver and you will see news stories that are generally negative towards actions taken (negligent or otherwise) by private security personnel. Those that do follow the rules generally aren’t in the news. These are the entities and people that business’ desire to do business with, at least on the surface level of things (it will get you a “foot in the door”).
How does one operate ethically in private security? Here is a list of examples (not all-inclusive):
Ensuring that a vendor agency as well as an individual(s) are operating ethically (and legally) is a risk management strategy incorporated into operations for those who may hire or utilize them. If the agency or individual does not have a strong Code of Ethics or regularly practices a strategy of “cutting corners” it will eventually catch up with them in the long term. As our industry continues to grow and expand our people operating within it will as well…let’s be sure to pass along strong operational ethics to ensure their longevity!