Community Rallies for Better Jobs and Public Safety in Jersey City
“Security officers who protect employees at multibillion-dollar corporations should be able to afford to provide for their families,” said Bill O’Dea, Chairman of the Hudson County Board of Chosen Freeholders, during a public rally held last week for improving the security industry.
Security officers and community leaders came together in Jersey City, New Jersey, to announce their effort to achieve higher public safety standards while creating better jobs within New Jersey’s private security companies.
New Jersey has more than 38,000 private security officers who are responsible for keeping office workers and the public safe and secure. Despite being a first line of defense in many cities, some officers earn too little to provide for their families and don’t have access to affordable quality healthcare. The rally aimed to show how poor standards in the security industry have a direct impact on the city’s public safety and economy.
“I’m trying to support my daughter, but even with full-time hours, I’m not making enough,” said Yvonne Larry, a single mother who has been working as a security officer in Newark for the last three years. She shares the same problems as many working families throughout New Jersey who are struggling right now to pay bills, afford healthcare or provide for their children. “What I hope comes out of this is we can get benefits, health insurance, paid holidays,” Yvonne says. “We don’t have anything.”
Security officers in Jersey City are not alone. In several cities across North America, officers have been speaking out about the lack of training, poor wages, and inadequate benefits that are hurting both their livelihood and the ability to do their jobs protecting the public. It seems the public is paying attention, as community groups start to hold private security companies more accountable and elected officials have proposed such things as training regulations and legislation.
Community members in Philadelphia are planning a similar event calling for improved standards in the security industry for Monday. Now more than ever, Philadelphia–like all American cities–needs good jobs and effective security.
You can read more press on the event in Jersey City below:
Jersey City Independent
“Private Security Officers Rally in Jersey City for Better Wages and Affordable Health Care”