Questions Raised After Shoplifter Dies in Hands of Wal-Mart Security

Wal-Mart Death Begs for More Security Guard Training

As Wal-Mart security guards just discovered, altercations can turn deadly in seconds. Is your team equipped with the appropriate security guard training?

The death of an alleged shoplifter in a Southern California Wal-Mart is still being investigated. After attempting to steal clothes and body wash on Friday, June 1, a man was chased down by security officers and restrained in the parking lot. As soon as police arrived, paramedics were called and the suspect was taken to a nearby hospital and pronounced dead. Although Wal-Mart is appropriately regretful, the unknown cause of death is odd, and questionable.

Why wasn’t it apparent that the suspect was in medical distress before Covina Department police officers arrived? While officials await autopsy results to draw conclusions, perhaps Wal-Mart should consider investing in more security guard training for their team. Whether there was a breakdown in leadership, police relations or physical procedure, equipping guards with extra security officer training is routinely beneficial. Regardless, we won’t be surprised if Wal-Mart sees some flak from this tragedy.

More training may help avoid wrongful death scenarios, and it will help protect more security officers, too. Oak Cliff, Texas is still mourning the loss of a security guard from an attempted robbery at a Bank of America last August. Wednesday was the first day of the murder trial for the accused, Courtland King, stirring emotional testimonies from bank tellers and relatives of the deceased guard. Another security guard was hospitalized after sustaining gunshots in a nightclub in Newark, New Jersey. The second gunshot victim, a patron of the club, died at the hospital.

When altercations can turn deadly in seconds, effective leadership and communication skills among guards are essential. But, it’s important to give a security team all the tools it needs, including security supervisor training, management training, and beyond, before a bad situation gets worse. Since many security guards have only a high school diploma or GED equivalent, they must be taught how to deal with life-or-death circumstances. Advanced security guard training keeps more people safe, plus it maximizes employee potential as an investment.

The rate of adults with only some college is both surprising and growing, which puts many jobs out of reach. However, adding security manager training to a high school education makes that employee significantly more valuable. And while job growth for the security industry as a whole is pretty average, technology and transportation security concerns are adding to the field’s overall demand. Considering the increasing need of TSA (Transportation Security Administration) screeners and their recent public embarrassment, a wealth of well-trained security officers may come in handy.

Poorly trained security guards, or transportation screeners, don’t make anyone look good. More importantly, they put lives at risk instead of protecting them.

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Save and Protect Your Money Via Security Guard Training

To protect your business assets while saving money, utilize security guard training through online courses and customized curriculums.

Regardless of the industry, field, or nature of the business, we’re obligated to protect our assets and ensure that rules and procedures are being followed at all times. Many companies are turning to digital HD surveillance systems to monitor the workplace, but a team of skilled, reliable security guards will serve you better than the fastest, clearest cameras. Organizations can hire their own security team, or contract out and utilize the services of private security companies. And there are scores of qualified security guards looking for work, right? Wrong.

The lackluster jobs report in March revealed the large pool of unskilled laborers hasn’t gotten much smaller. People are looking for work, but many keep running into the brick wall of ‘not enough experience’ for the available positions, security guards included. The discouraging unemployment rate—which dropped a whole 0.1 percent from 8.3 to 8.2—is only aggravated by a lack of qualified workers. To make matters worse, the still-weak economy has many businesses unable to afford the quality security guard training needed to educate new security teams.

However, some companies hold onto their purse strings with an iron fist worthy of Margaret Thatcher and manage to hire and train new officers. Many adult learners are already privy to this secret: online classes. Security guard training via online courses guarantees a well-trained team and cost-savings. The alternative to using online security guard courses is paying for an in-house instructor, and depending on the number of new recruits and what specific courses they need, in-house training can cost you a first-born child.

Not only is online training cheaper, it can be customized for your company, facility, procedures, and individual knowledge levels. If some guards are familiar with emergency situations and handling bomb threats but can’t write a concise report, they can take private security training courses focusing on communication skills, writing field notes and drafting reports. Simultaneously, other hires can brush up on conducting proper preliminary investigations and how to work well with the local law enforcement community.

Security officer training must also be tailored to your region since security guard state requirements vary from state to state. For instance, Florida requires that each member of a security team have a “Class D” security license with 40 hours of training licensed by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. If you’re not well versed on the security requirements for your state, you can trust that online training will incorporate them into the curriculum.

When your livelihood, property, and business are at stake—don’t just hope your security team has what it takes. It might be time to reevaluate: is your security foolproof?

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