Public Service Workers Demand Security Guards

Public Service Workers Demand Security Guards

Library workers representing 27 branches across the City of San Francisco held a rally earlier this month, calling for an increased security presence in all of the city’s libraries. Rally attendees stressed that eroding safety conditions have put both staff and the public at risk. Many lauded the impact that professional security guards have had at 12 of the city’s library branches, citing the guards’ ability to de-escalate tense situations and improve working conditions for public sector employees.

Private security has been so effective at curbing threats at city libraries that the Service Employees International Union 1021 – representing library staff, and other public sector employees – is calling for all library branches to deploy security professionals, and for the public sector to do more to safeguard the working conditions of its members. The union has expressed a willingness to strike if conditions do not improve.

In response, the city expressed reluctance to extend security coverage to all locations, despite the positive impact that current deployments are having. City officials cited their own data, which suggests reported incidents have declined in recent years. Library employees countered with personal stories that seemed to contradict the city’s official data – with nearly every rally attendee describing incidents where the safety of employees and patrons was threatened.

“Better to have a trained security guard…”

One attendee described a harrowing exchange with a belligerent patron who ended up kicking in a glass door. Such incidents are widespread according to those at the rally. Many stressed the absurdity of librarians being expected to confront troublemakers with no training or established protocol.

Despite the state enacting legislation intended to curb workplace violence in 2024, library workers do not feel like their safety is being prioritized. Generally speaking, crime continues to rise in California and many public sector employees have daily interactions with at-risk individuals without receiving any training. San Francisco’s librarians – and the public sector more broadly – recognize the value of experienced security professionals who are trained to respond appropriately.

With the increasing demand for security guards across North America, the requirements for guard certification have scaled up as well. Top tier security companies require their guards to undergo extensive training – enabling them to respond to mental health crises with de-escalation tactics, and to use appropriate force only when the threat of violence is present. Given the effort required for guard certification, it is no wonder that public sector employees would prefer having a trained security professional on hand.

guard with walkie-talkie

The Best Security Companies Hire the Best Guards

San Francisco’s librarians and public sector employees have the right to a safe and secure work environment. Their concerns around proper training in de-escalation tactics stress the need for high quality guards in the city’s libraries. Public sector spaces would do well to partner with top tier security providers who require their guards to train beyond minimum state requirements – receiving certifications in equipment, tactics, and first aid.

In addition, it’s crucial that security providers have the support infrastructure needed to respond quickly to guard requests from the field. Having a responsive dispatch office that can communicate with guards 24/7 is essential. This ensures guards never operate solo – they can call in additional personnel if needed, or relay information quickly to authorities in the case of any emergency. Having access to well-supported and well-trained security guards is the best way to ensure the safety of California’s public sector employees.

Contact The Guard Alliance Inc.

The Guard Alliance Inc has been proud to serve the Bay Area since 2010. Our guards lead the industry in professionalism, training, and response time. Supported by 24/7 dispatch, we are able to deploy highly trained unarmed, armed, and patrolling security professionals within hours in Northern California.

Public sector organizations have trusted us to protect their personnel and vital assets for more than a decade. If you’re in need of security solutions, we’d be happy to assist with a customized quote. If you’re interested in becoming a guard, feel free to reach out to us for current opportunities in California.

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