Times are tough and so is finding the money to pay for security services at your site.

Unlike cutting other services, cutting back on security can critically undermine safety. But when money is short, how can you save your security services? Here are five things you should ask yourself when evaluating your security needs:

  1. Can you afford security? In this case, a little bit of something really ISN’T better than nothing at all. Your security provider should be able to give pricing options on levels of security service, but each level should provide a comprehensive security approach. Cherry picking a program to save money can be as ineffective as not having security at all.
  2. Can your security provider perform other functions on your property? Think of the duties your security officer can perform that replace work others currently provide. That will help you save time and money at your site. Consult your security provider about their insurance coverage to perform these additional duties and try to be reasonable in your requests (i.e., NO janitorial duties, landscaping etc., YES to valet or reception).
  3. Do you need Parking Management? If you register and assign parking permits and need parking management at your site, some security providers like Summit will take that service over. Because they realize revenue for issuing permits and tickets , the costs may be covered.  Your payoff will be a visible security presence for little or no charge while they perform their parking management duties.
  4. Standing Guard Service or Patrol? Some locations can be properly serviced by cutting back on standing guard service and augmenting or replacing it with random drive-by patrols. Make sure your security provider has newer, marked vehicles with a light bar on top for excellent visibility. Ask for proof of the time they spend on your property—but be financially prepared to bring back the standing guard service if random patrols prove insufficient. There are some cases where the only deterrent is a continuous security presence.
  5. Are you properly allocating the funds in your budgets? Take a hard look at cutting in other areas before you cut security. Be realistic about your expectations for security services at the price you are willing to pay. You think you want the lowest bid… but what does low bid really mean? The answer: less supervision, low paid officers, overworked management staff and high guard turnover.

If you undermine your security provider’s ability to provide quality and consistent service because you want to pay lowest bid, then reset your expectations for less service and safety.

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