Even though crime statistics are lower in New York City today than they have been in decades, the fact remains that in an urban metropolis such as this, crime is a reality. It only takes one break-in or personal assault to focus everyone’s mind on crime prevention and their own personal safety. Even buildings that already employ a doorman, a super, and maintenance staff may still consider hiring a security guard.
But what exactly is involved in hiring a security guard? Should you rely on your building’s management to find the right security company? Should you hire an independent security guard not affiliated with a company? What about questions of licensing, insurance, reputation, and so on? Where should your building even start the process?
Get Proposals, Not Bids
The first step in the search for a security guard is finding companies to present your board with proposals outlining the services they offer. Most times, you can find the names of reputable companies by asking around. Find out which security companies are being hired by other buildings in your area, and by other buildings or complexes of a comparable size to yours. Once you (or your manager) come up with a list, invite several to come speak to your board of directors.
A word of caution is in order, however. “What you want is someone who has expertise in detecting and deterring criminal activity,” says Anthony Poveromo, a retired NYPD officer and founder and president of 21st Century Security, Inc., in Brooklyn. “Don’t let price dictate the hiring of a security company.”
“Unfortunately, for most buildings it ends up being a matter of finance,” says James Greco, President of Long Island Security Consultants, Inc., and Long Island K-9 Service, Inc., both in Manorville. “And usually the cheapest bidder gets the job. But when you’re hiring somebody, your biggest concern should be getting the right person for the right job. The bottom line is, you get what you pay for.”