I cannot speak to the accuracy of the quotes attributed to Karen Maggio, who has been complimentary of Guardsmark when I have talked with her. Likewise, I cannot attest to the accuracy of the quotes attributed to Mike Lopez (except to say that none of our officers are paid below $10.00 per hour.) I can question the context of the quotes shown for our site supervisor, Crystal Hunt. It was made to appear that she agreed with a decision to “dump Guardsmark.”
Crystal has told me that she was asked what she thought about Mr. Lopez’s attempts to hire the existing Guardsmark staff and she said, “I think it’s a good decision. He’s looking at the best interests of the College, and we agree.” That’s a huge jump from the way the article is written.
As to the issue of quality, Guardsmark is very proud of the excellent staff we placed at Mills. Many of them were hold-overs from the old in-house staff. When we took over the security responsibility from the in-house staff, very little if any training was being provided to them and what was provided was not consistently administered. The officers did not have guard cards, which are mandated by the State for security companies. We came in and got everyone qualified with guard cards and we instituted a mandatory, consistent and thorough training curriculum. The feedback we got was that we were much improved over the former in-house security program.
Mr. Lopez has indicated that he wants the officers to be P.O.S.T. certified, with police experience and with pay rates that far exceed the current approved/negotiated rates for security officers. We heartily agree with enhancing the pay and professionalism of security officers. Our CEO has for years been at the forefront of efforts to accomplish exactly this. We regularly work with our clients to enhance the pay and skill sets of our security officers and we work with other professional security organizations to encourage other security vendors to do the same.
I have great respect for Karen Maggio, but I am not aware of any training or quality standards that have been formulated or any discussion about our falling short of any. As to quality of our staff, I would proudly compare it with any peer group. As to training, I have already mentioned that we would fully support enhanced training programs, including P.O.S.T. certification.