U.S. Security Associates Awarded for… Training?
After failing several weapons tests and allowing security lapses in public buildings in Washington, D.C., U.S. Security Associates is — surprisingly — being honored for its quality of training. This week in Atlanta, U.S. Security Associates was one of multiple security companies presented with the Training Magazine Top 125 Award, which, according to the magazine, ranks the organizations that excel at “human capital development.”
It is, of course, ironic that a company with a record of failed security tests and allegations of sexual harassment and discrimination among their own employees would be honored for their employee training. However, a deeper look into the Top 125 Awards reveals that they aren’t fully based on an independent, impartial review of companies. In order to qualify, a company must first nominate itself, and then answer a detailed questionnaire and provide data on its own company.
As company managers and executives celebrated at the Training Magazine Conference, Stand For Security supporters in Atlanta were out educating the public about the potentially dangerous effects of U.S. Security Associates’ poor training standards. The company touts its long-distance “USA Security Academy,” where “trainees across the nation participate in live interactive training programs via Web and video-based conferencing.” But in Washington, D.C., tests revealed what appear to be poor training standards at the company, allowing simulated bombs to pass security checkpoints into public buildings.
In the security industry, we should all be taking training seriously. Along with better wages and important benefits, good training is important not only for security officers, who want to do their jobs well, but also for clients and the public.
Proper training can reduce turnover and develop the skills needed to keep the public safe in an era when police budgets are being slashed throughout the country.
According to U.S. Security Associates, this is the sixth consecutive year that they have won the award. Perhaps the company should spend less time on nominating themselves for awards, and more time providing their employees with the training they want — and need — to do their jobs well.