Private security companies provide guard and patrol services for a variety of reasons, and these have grown significantly over the past 15 years.
There are four private security responsibilities: physical, personnel, information systems and investigations. American companies rely on private security to protect employees and assets, conduct investigations, pre-employment screenings and provide technological security.
Former Tahlequah Police Chief Stephen T. Farmer has served as the event security manager for a Tulsa casino for five years.
“I keep artists safe when they come to town,” Farmer said. “I don’t own a business, but it’s like working for a private security company.”
Farmer has a team of people who provide personal protection for VIPs, including entertainers, athletes, and politicians. Farmer said all guards are armed, although it’s not a requirement.
“The people I protect, it’s better that we are,” he said.
Farmer does not need to be certified by the Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training, but he should if he had his own private security company.
“My retired CLEET can be transferred into private security, but if I hadn’t been involved in law enforcement, I would have to do a phase 1 and a phase 2, which is training as a security officer. security [for] without weapons. If I wanted to be armed, I would do phase 4, which you go through to use force and firearms,” Farmer said.
According to CLEET, security guards must complete eight hours of continuing education every two years, while private investigators must complete 16 hours of continuing education every two years.
“You must have the certification because CLEET can fine you if [you’re not certified], and I know they would go around people who worked for security in the state and make sure they were licensed. It’s something CLEET does,” Farmer said.
About 45,000 detectives and private investigators were employed by private security agencies in 2008. These investigators are hired to collect information through observation and interviewing of non-criminal crimes.
The industry is growing. There were two million security workers in the United States, and this number is expected to grow by 21% in 2020. According to the growth and development of the private security industry, the industry has become a market of 350 billions of dollars.
Farmer will usually contact tour managers once a contract has been signed for the casino’s VIP guests.
“Once it’s confirmed and the contracts are signed, I’m notified and I send information to the tour manager. Either the tour manager contacts me again, or he contacts me [through a security manager],” he said.
This is when they all figure out what is needed and how to organize things before each event.
“Some of the artists who come have their own security and some don’t. I went to the [Tulsa International Airport], met them and escorted them from there to our property. Once they are under my protection, we provide that protection until they get on a bus and leave, or go back to the airport,” he said.
Farmer attributes his career in law enforcement to his recent work in private security.
“A good friend of mine was the director of security [at the casino I’m with now] and after I retired, they hired me to come and help with training and updating policies and procedures. Basically, I helped put the security department where it should be,” Farmer said.
Farmer then left and took care of his personal business for about six years before returning to the casino.
“They knew me and they were preparing to open their new place and bring in these big names. They wanted someone who knew what they were doing and they offered me the job,” he said.