- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 12, 2002

Security remains lax in commercial buildings across the nation, nine months after September 11th, according to a new poll of security officers.
About 40 percent of security officers say that no new security procedures had been implemented since September 11, according to the poll released yesterday by the Service Employees International Union, the nation's largest private security officers union.
Jono Shaffer, SEIU's director, said that security is a big problem, especially since September 11.
"Despite heightened concern, with the issues of anthrax and future terrorists attacks, these results show that there is a huge problem out there," Mr. Shaffer said.
The poll was conducted by Peter D. Hart Research Associates of Washington, an independent, national research firm. Three states were chosen, and the survey was conducted by telephone between April and May.
Four hundred security officers were randomly selected in each of the states Texas, California and Florida. The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percent.
"We wanted to choose states, first of all, that met a couple of criteria," said Guy Molyneux of Peter D. Hart Research Associates. "One, they were sort of substantial in size. We wanted to make sure that they were not all of one type in terms of regulations. In fact, we were covering a range of regulations. We also wanted demographic diversity."
The pollsters only wanted to include states that had a list of all security officers working in the state.
Jeff Schlanger, chief operating advisor at Kroll Inc. Security Services Group, said his company has helped advise the security team at the World Trade Center after its 1993 bombing.
"After the 1993 bombing of the WTC, Kroll was asked to come in and consult on security, and one of the recommendations that we made was in fact for increased training," Mr. Schlanger said.
The union, which commissioned the poll from Hart, believes the results show that the security industry needs increased training, better pay and benefits.
Janet Boston, a former World Trade Center security officer who also spoke at the press conference, blamed low pay for the security industry's high turnover rate.
"The fact is they realize that for us to stay on the job, they needed to raise the standards," Miss Boston said. "Believe it or not, in these high-rise buildings, security officers are working and are not making anything. It makes me want to cry for them."
Mr. Shaffer said the turnover rate should not be a surprise.
"A turnover of that level, security officers are often unfamiliar with what is going on in their facility," he said.
"That familiarity is critical. Good security depends on a well-trained security work force."


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