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  • Writer's pictureSam Wilks

Critical Queries for Selecting a Security Agency: Insights from the Field



In the realm of personal security, the decision to select an appropriate agency is not merely a matter of cost and capabilities but a comprehensive evaluation of how these services align with the specific needs of the principal. From personal experiences peppered with both costly mistakes and insightful successes, I have learned that delving deep into the operational specifics of a security agency is imperative.


One should commence by clarifying financial obligations: What are the principal's responsibilities regarding the payment of the security personnel during an assignment? It is essential to discern whether fees are calculated on a 24-hour basis, for 30 days or per assignment. If the former, does this period adhere to the actual hours worked by the security personnel, starting from arrival to departure?


Understanding the payment dynamics is crucial—how are payments processed, and what schedules are followed? What penalties ensue from the cancellation of an assignment? Such enquiries ensure financial transparency and help avoid unforeseen costs.


Operational logistics also warrant meticulous examination. The number of security poersonnel required, their shifts, and the criteria determining whether they are armed or unarmed are all pivotal factors that need clear answers. The specific skills of security personnel, especially those that cater to the unique needs of the principal, should be clearly identified.


Who handles travel arrangements, and what modes of transportation are used? What documentation is necessary from the principal to facilitate these arrangements? It is equally important to understand the identification requirements for the assignment, such as passports, driver’s licences, security ID, or other specific IDs.


Additionally, one must enquire about any operational restrictions imposed by the agency or its personnel, such as limitations on accompanying the principal to certain locations or using specific modes of transport. Their insured use of force, or are they only obligated to observe and report?


The principal's own restrictions and their willingness to compromise are vital discussions that should be addressed transparently to ensure mutual understanding and agreement on the scope of the protection services.


Preferences regarding the guards, while sensitive, are often necessary to discuss. While steering clear of discrimination, preferences related to the agents' gender, race, age, or personality characteristics—like patience or adaptability to different times of the day—can be crucial for their comfort and compatibility with the principal.


The health and personal habits of the guards, such as smoking or alcohol use, should also be scrutinised to ensure they meet the principal's standards and requirements.


The professional credentials of the security company and its guards must be verified rigorously. This includes checking licences, educational backgrounds, military service, job history, and references. It is also wise to enquire about any past or current lawsuits or legal issues that could impact their service.


Understanding the procedures for potentially interrupting, terminating, or altering the scope of an assignment is essential for maintaining flexibility and control throughout the engagement.

By addressing these comprehensive and critical questions, potential clients can forge partnerships with security agencies that are not only effective but also deeply aligned with their specific security needs and personal preferences. This due diligence is not just about hiring a service; it's about ensuring a safe and harmonious engagement.


From the author.


The opinions and statements are those of Sam Wilks and do not necessarily represent whom Sam Consults or contracts to. Sam Wilks is a skilled and experienced Security Consultant with almost 3 decades of expertise in the fields of Real estate, Security, and the hospitality/gaming industry. His knowledge and practical experience have made him a valuable asset to many organizations looking to enhance their security measures and provide a safe and secure environment for their clients and staff.



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