US Security underbidding wins Colorado courthouse contract www.privateofficer.com
“I will be unemployed,” said Charles Hall, a security guard at the complex for three years. “I’ll have to look for a new job. I’ll have to collect unemployment. And hopefully I can find a new job.”
Hall says he’s refusing to drop from nearly $12.75 an hour to $9.50 per hour with the new company and feels the public should be concerned.
“I mean, you know, you’re putting people’s lives at risk for less money,” he said.
“I’m going to retire,” said Bob Perino, a guard at the security checkpoint for the past four years. “There’s no way you can work for $9.50 an hour.”
Several court staffers and even one judge told 7NEWS Wednesday they had no idea the change had been made and would be sorry to see Hall, Perino and the other two staffers go.
“OK. But cheaper’s never always better. So it’s not a great idea at all,” said Sue Reed-Baum, a Justice Center visitor. “I think it stinks.”
Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith approved the change, as did the county’s finance director.
Commissioners could vote on the final contract next week, said spokeswoman Deni La Rue.
But commissioner Steve Johnson told 7NEWS he was already sold.
“It does not bother me at all,” Johnson said. “In fact, courthouse security is the responsibility of the sheriff and he has our full confidence. What it says to me is that our sheriff is very good at courthouse security and getting the best value for the taxpayer dollar. I’m not surprised at all if the losing bidder is unhappy but that’s what competition is all about in America.”
Twin City Security had the contract for the justice center for five years, a company spokesman told 7NEWS.
And a Larimer County sheriff’s spokesman agreed the company did a fine job.
But, he said, after reviewing 14 bids, U.S. Security Associates had the lowest offer.
“Yeah, that’s the main reason the change is occurring,” said Nick Christensen, the executive officer for the sheriff’s department. “If they’re the lowest bidder, they’re going to get that job and they’re going to have to find a way to make that work.”
When asked if public security was the right place to search for cost savings, Christensen said, “Well, absolutely. As long as we get the same level of service. That’s the key.”
Criminal background checks are being done by the sheriff’s department, another spokesman said.
The contract with U.S. Security runs four years, with annual reviews and a chance to terminate the deal at any time for serious problems, the sheriff’s office spokesman said.