RealNews

'Rent-a-cops' rarely trained or investigated

They are the first line of defense against terrorists. But more often than not, private security guards who protect millions of lives and billions of dollars in real estate offer a false sense of security. Most of the nation’s 1 million-plus guards are unlicensed, untrained and not subject to background checks. Their burgeoning, $12 billion-a-year industry is marked by high turnover, low pay, few benefits and scant oversight. And according to government officials and industry experts, little has changed since Sept. 11, 2001. As the demand for guards increases, security companies ”find someone on the street and put him in a uniform, and before he’s finished buttoning up, they put him on a post,” says Henry Nocella, vice president of Professional Security Bureau, a private company based in New Jersey that employs about 4,000 guards. Thus the name: ”rent-a-cops.” Full Story

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