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Three Questions to Ask before Hiring Estate Security

How do you hire the best private security for your enterprise or residence? Ask these three questions first.

On Monday according to this media report, a scantily clad woman distracted a security guard protecting a Beverly Hills mansion long enough for armed men to attack the guard; zip tie him, grab his gate remote, and rob the home he was trusted to protect. The report lacked many details, including why the guard was located (or stationed) on the public side of the gate. The attack and robbery, however, did illuminate this reality: ultra-high net worth people need effective security — especially at their residence.

The key word above is effective security. Just hiring some guard company for peace of mind, and not considering how they screen, train, and license their personnel can result in ill-prepared (and ill-supported) protectors. When the mission is protecting human life and property, inquiries and audits about the quality of their security service is a good idea.

If you, as property manager or client, are considering estate security – where guards often have full-access to the property and residence — it is essential to hire well-trained professionals with clean backgrounds whom you can trust. To better gain your trust and confidence, I recommend asking current and future security providers these three questions.

  1. How do you screen candidates for employment? You want the best protecting you or your client. Their answer to this question will convey the lengths your provider goes to finding and hiring the very best.

    Follow-on Questions

    • Do you conduct in-depth pre-employment background investigations on each protector assigned? (Ask to see the reports.)
    • Do protectors take a polygraph and drug/nicotine test?
    • Is there a mandated and ongoing Physical Fitness Test for all protectors?
    • What proprietary confidentiality agreements do protectors sign regarding their responsibility to safeguard private information?
  2. How do you train your protectors? Training new protectors to a high standard before they ever step foot on a client’s property will enhance the safety and security of that property and those who live there.

    Follow-on Questions

    • Do you have a formal training division with full-time instructors?
    • Is there an all-encompassing training facility for your guard force?
    • Are protectors trained and certified for emergency medical scenarios?
    • Is their on-going and required sustainment training throughout the year?
  3. Are your protectors licensed and certified? An unlicensed protector operating on a property is a massive liability, especially when firearms are involved. The security company’s answer to this question, I promise, will reveal their attention to detail in all manner of things regarding your (or your client’s) safety, security, and privacy.

    Follow-on Questions

    • Do you have a formal compliance division that tracks all required licensing and certifications?
    • Do all protectors possess up-to-date security licenses (i.e. “guard cards”)?
    • Do all protectors possess up-to-date firearms permits or CCWs?
    • Do all protectors possess a CPR and AED medical certification?

Final Thoughts

After asking security executives these questions, I recommend asking the on-site protectors the same exact questions. Moreover, ask those on-site protectors to show you their guard card, firearms permit, and CPR/AED certification.

Security companies who cut corners cannot be trusted. Security firms who happily answer all your questions, invite you to look over their policies, talk to their protectors, and even observe their training – these firms can be trusted.

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