- The Washington Times - Monday, June 15, 2009

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Private security officers are in most cases our first line of defense (“Slain guard recalled as a ‘gentle giant,’ ” Nation, Thursday). The tragedy at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum is a painful reminder that these modestly paid men and women put their lives at risk to keep us safe and secure. As we mourn the loss of Stephen Tyrone Johns, we should honor his memory by working to raise security industry standards.

32BJ represents more than 1,000 officers in the District and thousands more on the East Coast who keep office buildings, college campuses, transportation hubs and key infrastructure safe and secure for tenants, commuters, tourists and most everyone else. In our experience, improved training, compensation and job security have helped boost officer performance and morale and reduced job turnover.

Because nothing is more important than public safety and security, we must ensure that security officers are best prepared to handle emergencies and treated with the respect they deserve for their brave service.

VALARIE LONG

Vice president

32BJ

Washington

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