1,009 lawsuits have been filed against private security so far this year www.privateofficer.com
1,009 lawsuits have been filed against private security so far this year!
Security agencies, security clients and in-house security departments have all been included in these lawsuits.
The headline says it all. Security officers and companies are being sued left and right and in many cases justly so.
The break down of the lawsuits filed so far this year are:
47% Excessive Use of Force or Assault
23% False Arrest-Detention or Unlawful Restraint
18% Failure To Provide Adequate Security
12% Misc./ Other
One reason for this jump in filings is the steady increase of the use of private security to perform more proactive duties including stopping and detaining suspected shoplifters, trespassers and criminal offenders. Another reason is that our society is becoming increasingly lawsuit happy and general filings are up all across this country, said Bill Frost, a Florida law professor.
Private security companies must make every effort to train their employees, document each training module and then supervise and manage their staff to insure that each security officer is in compliance and following company standards and protocols Frost said.
Security officers CAN and ARE sued individually, separately or as a party to the complaint!
A judgement is good for 20 years and can be “re-certified” in many states for another 20 years!
So, if you think training, education and experience in the private security industry is not needed or something for someone else to worry about- THINK AGAIN!
Private security duties and boundaries continue to expand, duties are becoming much more proactive and less Observe and Report and security officers are becoming more involved in the actual hands on approach of securing their clients property and this change of security roles will continue to put officers and companies in a higher liability category according to Bill Watkins, Vice President of Training Services for Private Officer International.
While it is almost impossible to shield a company completely from the possibility of a lawsuit, it is possible to defend against one.
Good training, having policies and protocols in place, documentation of training and supervision including officer disciplinary actions and re-training, officer supervision and communication, and a hands on approach by the security company and management team will go a long way in providing evidence of a clear training program and written policies, Frost said.