Security similarities around the world

I began to write this in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

I thought that I would try to get a wireless connection and post it before I left, but I could not get a connection at the airport before flying on to Dubai. I didn’t have a chance to try at Dubai since the flight to New York was scheduled to depart only twenty five minutes after our flight touched down. Now I’m sitting at JFK airport once again trying without any luck. Modern technology is wonderful, but you can not always set your watch by it.

Having traveled around the U.A.E. and Saudi Arabia for the past 2 weeks, I discovered that absolutely everywhere has their fair share of security problems and concerns. I had thought that security would be so tight around the Middle East that there would be no holes in the system. I went there to do business, but down deep I wondered if there was anything that we could show or teach them about security.

Even though our two societies are so different in many ways; dress, language, religion, weather, politics, etc., we both have some similar problems in common when it comes to security. For instance, training is a definite issue. They realize that their people have to be better trained and to act more professional, but this is difficult without any formal regulations in place.

A business man in Saudi Arabia who owns a security company, along with several dozen other companies, spoke about how difficult it was to retain security officers. He was frustrated by having to constantly hire officers as a result of firing and resignations. I think he was surprised to learn that security business owners in the U.S. face the same problem. He was very open to my suggestion that part of the solution involved implementing a higher standard of training.

It is ironic that I traveled to the other side of the world and the message that I brought was the same that I speak of day in and day out back here in the States. You can not expect a stellar performance from people who are not properly trained, adequately paid and made to feel that they are necessary contributors to society. Security officers are no different to any other employee who wishes to be viewed as a professional and treated with dignity and respect.

Unfortunately, many times it is clients themselves who are to be blame for lowering the standards. Many companies who hire security officers feel that they can get away with paying low wages. This forces companies to cut their rate and get into “bidding wars” with each other. In order to scrape a minimal profit they in turn are forced to hire employees who are poorly (if at all) trained and who will leave the employment without notice if they find another company willing to pay $0.50 an hour more.

Clients would be well advised to remember the old adage; “you get what you pay for”.

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