U.S. Security Associates Under Media Scrutiny After Undermining Public Safety in Washington, DC
U.S. Security Associates, the fourth largest security firm in the country, is once again under scrutiny in the Washington, D.C. media for putting the public at risk.
“If you felt like there’s no way anyone could ever smuggle a cellphone bomb through security at the Wilson Building, you need to reassess your feelings,” writes Alan Suderman in the Washington City Paper this week.
An internal memo recently obtained by SEIU has revealed more than a dozen different potential security breaches at D.C. government buildings, including some that are supposed to be protected by U.S. Security Associates, between July 2010 and June 2011.
Tim Craig from The Washington Post writes:
“Undercover police officers and recruits have repeatedly sneaked simulated bombs into high-profile District government buildings, including the John A. Wilson Building that houses the office of the mayor and council members, according to a newly released memo.
[…]In addition to the breaches involving simulated weapons, the memo outlines several instances where visitors were not asked for identification, as is standard policy for anyone entering a city building. Recruits also successfully drove vehicles into some unauthorized areas, according to the memo.”
Reporting on the memo, WUSA 9 News reporter Ken Molestina asked Mayor Gray, “If someone was able to bring fake explosives in here, what’s to say that someday they’re not going to bring in the real thing?” Gray’s response: “It could happen.”
WUSA 9 News also interviewed SEIU’s Jaime Contreras, who described the root of the problem of companies like U.S. Security Associates: “This is not the officers. This is the training that these companies are not providing and the quality of training that they are providing.”
Given the impact on public safety, several media outlets also reported on the most recent problems to surface at U.S. Security Associates. Below is Fox 5 DC‘s report, as well as links to more media reports.
This is not the first time U.S. Security Associates has failed security penetration tests in Washington DC. For the safety of all Washingtonians, the city must end its relationship with U.S. Security Associates as soon as possible.
“Memo Exposes Gaps in D.C. Security” – The Huffington Post
“New Report Says D.C. Government Buildings Are Vulnerable” – WMAL 105.9 FM
“Fake bombs breach D.C. security” – WTOP 103.5 FM
Read our own story on the memo here: DC Memo Points to Huge Security Gaps, Poor Training Standards at U.S. Security Associates