Who’s Guarding the Henhouse?
June 8, 2007
Who’s guarding the guards. According to this article written by the Associated Press and posted on Yahoo private security guards charged with protecting us from terrorist attacks are both underpaid and not properly vetted. Setting aside the pay scale, let’s address the concerns with background checks. Yes, it is of major concern that these guards are not undergoing a thorough and effective check before they are charged with protecting us. And yes, there should be regulations for doing so. However, has anyone noticed that when the government starts to regulate in this area, they fall far short of the intended goal? If you are going to regulate, then put some teeth behind the effort and require not just a background check, but a stringent background check that doesn’t involve an internet search at cheapinstantbackgroundchecks.com (made up company). To do anything short of this is to create a false sense of security.
While I do agree with the premise that background checks should be performed, I have some concerns with the author of this article for the implication that "criminal records" should disqualify those seeking employment. This is a slippery slope for any employer and an unfair practice. Each record should be evaluated on its own merit or lack thereof and then considered for how the past transgression would impact the applicant’s ability to perform well with integrity.
Bottomline, there is no excuse for employing a security guard without executing a thorough and effective background check. Without it you must ask "who’s guarding the henhouse".