U.S. Security Associates’ Failures to Meet State Licensing Standards–What Does It Mean for Clients and the Public?


Stand for Security examined the track record of U.S. Security Associates–the nation’s fourth-largest security company–in meeting state security licensing standards. The results proved troubling for clients of U.S. Security Associates and the public.
Security, of course, is a vital public function. That’s why state officials often set licensing standards for security companies. Designed to protect local businesses from hucksters and ensure public safety, these common-sense measures often require security companies to:

  • Register security officers.
  • Certify security officers.
  • Conduct criminal background checks of security officers.
  • Take security officers’ fingerprints.
  • Ensure that officers have a minimum of training in order to perform their duties.
  • Provide proof of insurance.
  • Employ somebody to ensure that all of these standards are met in a timely fashion.

By any measure these are reasonable expectations for security firms hoping to operate in a given state.
U.S. Security Associates has failed to meet these expectations.
In Ohio, the Ohio Department of Public Safety found that U.S. Security Associates failed to register 361 employees in a timely fashion, failed to renew registration for other employees and failed to remove officers from the roster after termination. According to notes from the investigator on the case, “Such activity pose {sic} a potential serious harm to the public interest.”
In Virginia, the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services found in 2008 that among 35 randomly-selected employees audited, U.S. Security Associates had employed 16 individuals with no valid registration or certification, employed four individuals for more than 90 days without completing the compulsory minimum training, and employed 17 individuals without submitting fingerprints on or before their date of hire. The company was found in violation of state standards governing private security services and was subjected to a one-year probation.
This was not the first time U.S. Security Associates had been investigated by Virginia authorities. After reviewing the past record of U.S. Security Associates and the numerous violations and resulting financial sanctions, the assistant chief of the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services’ Private Security Services Section previously wrote, “It is my opinion that U.S. Security Associates, Inc. has not demonstrated it intends to comply with the Code of Virginia or the regulations governing private security services.”
Meanwhile in Texas, the Texas Department of Public Safety has found U.S. Security to be in violation of state laws requiring the company to timely register non-commissioned security officers at least a dozen times since 2006, most recently in March 2011.
Indeed Texas has suspended U.S. Security Associates’ license six times since 2002. The Texas Commission on Private Security suspended U.S. Security Associates’ license due to the company’s failure to provide proof of liability insurance, first in 2002, then in 2003, 2005, 2006, 2009, and again in 2010. Under Texas law U.S. Security Associates would have been prohibited from doing business as a security services contractor while its license was suspended.
As clients know, violations of state regulations can signal performance problems in other areas as well. For their own sake–and the public’s–all clients should consider whether U.S. Security Associates is a risk worth taking.

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