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IS YOUR SECURITY GUARD DANGEROUS?

Posted on December 8, 2021 at 2:15 PM

IS YOUR SECURITY GUARD DANGEROUS?


By


Andrew P. Sutor


The recent mass shooting and massacre of twenty-five innocent churchgoers in Texas raises a serious concern, especially when you take a close look at the evil shooter’s employ. David Patrick Kelley was employed as a 26-year-old security guard. How could an individual responsible for the protection of life and property of others be involved in such a heinous act? Kelley is not the only mass shooter coming from the ranks of young security guards. Here are a few examples for your thoughtful consideration:


On June 12, 2016, Omar Mateen, a 29-year-old security guard killed 49 people and wounded 58 in a mass shooting attack in an Orlando, Florida nightclub.


On December 2, 2015, Syed Farook, a 28-year-old a “health inspector” killed 14 people and wounded 22 others in a mass shooting attack at a Christmas party in San Bernardino, California.


On August 10, 2017, Darryl Hanna, a 29-year-old security guard shot and killed co-workers after complaining of low pay in a Longboat, Florida resort.


Although these mass shootings by “security guards” seem to be a recent phenomenon, this expert recalls a young uniformed security guard from the Sands Casino in Atlantic City slaying three opposing gang members on Route 30 by a high-powered rifle on his way home from work.


On July 18, 1984, security guard James Oliver Huberty killed 21 employees and customers in a McDonald’s Restaurant in San Ysidro, California.


These aforementioned mass shooting incidents now raise an essential point regarding the mass shooting and murder of scores of concert attendees and the wounding of hundreds of others across from the Mandalay Bay Casino Hotel on October 1, 2017. You see, the security guards do not necessarily have to do the actual shooting themselves to present a clear and present danger to guests and patrons. It is quite evident to this expert that the multi-billion dollar, second largest casino hotel company in the world with the most substantial presence on the Las Vegas strip “cut corners” on the quality and quantity of security and surveillance personnel needed to reasonably protect lawful business guests. Furthermore, their partner in this deadly event, a multi-billion dollar, and largest entertainment company in the country does not fare much better when it comes to providing reasonable security for concert attendees. Previous highly dangerous events investigated by this expert confirm that they often do not use professional security. Instead, they instead hire low-paid young punks sometimes by handing them a yellow T-shirt with STAFF emblazoned on the back to provide this vital and essential security protection.


Sometimes security guards as would-be cops take low paid jobs to find opportunities to utilize judo, karate, and Gracie fighting skills to inflict damage on errant customers and patrons. Much unnecessary excessive force and illegal detention civil suits result. Check out some videos of this abuse by security guards by Googling: “Harrah’s security beatings.” Photographic evidence of scores of excessive force cases will clearly show how one of the largest resorts of the largest casino gaming company in the world handles security.


Owners and operators of premises in the hospitality industry including casinos, hotels, sports, and entertainment venues have a legal and moral duty to provide a reasonable standard of care for the safety and security of their customers and guests. They must utilize the services of a qualified and experienced safety and security expert to determine actual foreseeable risk existing at the time and place of the event. Establishing this foreseeability risk factor is paramount in determining the reasonable level of security required to meet the prevalent risk. A quick study of risk management tells us that if a type of incident has occurred in the area previously, there is a higher probability of it happening again. This also means there is a higher standard of security, preventive action, and the like required to be implemented prior to the incident.


Unfortunately, rather than hiring highly available, experienced security professionals, including retired local, state, and federal law enforcement agents and former military personnel and reliable veterans, who wish to supplement their pensions, many greedy hospitality industry companies choose the low-cost route. These inexpensive options include the hiring of young and inexperienced local thugs, illiterate loafs, cop wannabes and assorted ne’er-do-wells who provide cheap but highly inadequate and grossly irresponsible security protection. Far too often they hire foreigners including individuals from dangerous and war-torn third world countries to man their security positions.


A case in point is that on our other “day of infamy,” September 11, 2001, about ninety percent of the security personnel at the National Airport in Washington, D.C. were illegal aliens, willing to work important jobs for little pay.


On occasion the security guards themselves, as evidenced by the aforementioned shooting cases, are very dangerous. Persons placed in positions of trust and responsibility must be carefully vetted prior to their hiring and placement into service. Unfortunately, even in these times of heightened threats from terrorism, many hospitality industry companies pay less than one percent of their revenues for these vital protective services.


To provide a classic example of this gross negligence in action, in a premises security negligence case against a Pennsylvania casino recently brought to a successful conclusion, this expert found that the defendant’s highly inexperienced Director of Security was an elder-care social worker with zero law enforcement training or experience. Her security underlings included young security guards who took car valet positions as promotions and for pay increases. Furthermore, a company garbage collector who took appropriate action in the casino parking lot robbery was actually paid a higher salary than her security guards. One ex-security guard involved in the case was unavailable for a deposition because he was in prison!


A fact of life remains that professional security is expensive. Sometimes, even when the corporation’s management knows that there is a need for more robust security, they just don’t spend the money for risk surveys and the hiring of qualified personnel to provide reasonable safety and security. Unfortunately, corporate management often cuts too many corners on security and surveillance.


The bottom line is that instead of placing dangerous un-vetted persons in important positions as security guards within the hospitality industry, companies should perform threat and risk assessments and provide comprehensive background investigations to ensure adequate security and reasonable security protection of their lawful business guests.

 


Andrew P. Sutor is Principal at Sutor & Associates, LLC, which provides professional security consultation and expert witness services for attorneys pursuing premises liability and negligent security cases. Reach Andrew at [email protected] or 609.822.2626

 

 

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