Unsafe With U.S. Security Associates Newsletter 6 by SEIU


									       UNSAFE Associates
       With U.S. Security
       What you need to know about safety at America’s fourth-largest security firm.
December 2011       ■   Issue 6    Special Alert: DC Memo Points to Huge Security Gaps,
                                   Poor Training Standards at U.S. Security Associates
   Welcome                         Washington, D.C.—Several Washington, DC media outlets—from The Washington Post to Fox
                                   Television—have been reporting on the failure of U.S. Security Associates (USSA) to prevent
   to the sixth issue of           multiple simulated security breaches in the District’s high-profile public buildings.
   Unsafe with U.S. Security       The media scrutiny stems from an internal government of the District of Columbia memo—
   Associates. Published by        obtained through the Freedom of Information Act by Stand for Security—that reveals both
   the Service Employees           huge security gaps and poor training standards at USSA.
   International Union, this       From July 2010 to May 2011 undercover personnel working on behalf of DC’s Protective Ser-
   newsletter will inform          vices Police Department (PSPD) made several attempts to penetrate security operations run
                                   by USSA and/or its subcontractor, Watkins Security, at 16 different public facilities. During the
   security directors,             exercises, designed to test the reliability of security operations, undercover personnel were
   property managers,              able to:
   office building tenants         •	 Enter	without	showing	identification;
   and others about the            •	 Enter	with	a	cell-phone	bomb;
   business practices of           •	 Enter	with	a	simulated	pipe	bomb;
   U.S. Security Associates.       •	 Drive	in	restricted	areas;	and	
                                   •	 Smuggle	in	a	simulated	explosive	hidden	in	a	book.
   Upcoming issues will
                                   USSA failures were widespread. In at least 12 public buildings, USSA either failed to detect
   explore:                        the penetration or did not follow proper protocol when they did. All told, there were at least 31
   ■       More on USSA’s
                                   To clients, USSA touts its long-distance “USA Security Academy,” where “trainees across the
           alleged problems with   nation	participate	in	LIVE	interactive	training	programs	via	Web	and	video-based	conferenc-
           sexual harassment.      ing.” The “state of the art training studio” is “the cornerstone of our national training and devel-
                                   opment efforts.” But in DC, several tests revealed what appear to be poor training standards at
                                   the company. According to the memo:
                                   •	 “Recruit	#1	entered	the	listed	location	carrying	a	black	bag	with	a	simulated	pipe	bomb.	
                                      The Officer at this location detected the pipe bomb but had no knowledge what police ac-
                                      tion to take once the bomb was discovered.”
                                   •	 “Recruit	#1	entered	the	lobby	of	the	listed	location,	placed	a	black	bag	on	the	x-ray	ma-
                                      chine. The Officers [sic] at this location was able to detect the bomb in the bag. The Officers
                                      had no idea which person in line had placed the bag on the machine. The Officer went
                                      down the line asking is this your bag?”
                                   •	 “Recruit	#1	entered	the	listed	location	and	placed	a	black	bag	on	the	x-ray	machine.	The	
                                      Officers at this location detected the bomb in the bag but fail [sic] to follow proper proce-
                                      dure in securing the bag once the bomb was discovered.”
                                   This is not the first time USSA has failed security penetration tests in Washington, DC. A May
                                   28, 2010 internal USSA memo revealed that, “each time PSD conducted a penetration exercise,
                                   we have failed.” The author of the memo then threatens security officers. “You can and will be
                                   relieved of your posts if you continue to fail the Protective Service Penetration exercises,” he
                                   USSA may again try to blame its failures on security officers. But the latest internal memo
                                   reveals that company training is responsible for security gaps in DC’s public buildings. Our
                                   nation’s capital deserves better than USSA.
14545 wm
Stand for Security
Service Employees International Union, CTW, CLC
1800 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20036

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