What to look for in a Washington DC Security Company

Questions to ask security companies in Washington DC

Any licensed security agency in Washington DC can provide a uniformed security guard to protect your business or community.  Unfortunately, all security companies are not created equal.  There are significant differences that can impact the quality of service that you will receive.  The security company should have more than a security agency license. Every security company has a license. It is important to know what to look for in a Washington DC security guard company.

Below are the most important things to consider when hiring a private security agency.

hire local washington DC security company

Is the company locally owned and operated?

If you want to find out about Washington DC, you would not ask someone who lives in New York for information.  The same standard applies to security companies.  It is always best to find a security company that is locally owned and operated.  Local companies have a better understanding of the unique issues of your area. 

The fact is:

Local companies tend to have closer relationship with local law enforcement

Local companies have the in depth knowledge about the area that comes from living here

National companies tend to only focus on large accounts.  They neglect or ignore local contracts that generate less than $300,000 per year

Local companies know about local criminal activity and tendencies

competitive security service rates

Are their hourly rates competitive?

There is an old saying “Those who buy by price, buy twice.”  The logic behind that statement is that when people make purchases based soley on the lowest price, they buy once based on price and then they have to buy again to replace the company that they hired. 

Always remember this:

There is a direct correlation between how much a security company charges and how much they pay their security officers.  Unfortunately, in most cases you get what you pay for.  Security personnel who work for minimum wage tend to cause minimum wage type problems. 

  • High turnover rates
  • Officers lack morale
  • Companies don’t have the financial resources to have effective admin and management teams

This does not mean that business owners should always look for the most expensive company.  However, it is wise to look at the lowest bidder with the same level of scrutiny as the highest rate.  If you notice significant price differences, its important to ask the right questions

Questions to ask security companies is you see significant price differences

  • Why are your prices lower/higher than everyone else?
  • Is there anything that you do differently than others that make your prices lower/higher?
  • How much do you pay your security guards?
  • Do you have filed supervisors that visit sites?
security guard patrol tracking system

Does the security company use electronic patrol tracking?

How do you know that the security guard is doing their job?  How do you report and document incidents?  The best security companies use electronic patrol tracking systems to monitor their security officers’ activity and generate reports. 

What is a patrol tracking?

  • Electronic patrol tracking systems are mobile applications that use GPS and other technology to track the officers location and activity while they are on duty.  The most popular systems combine GPS on the mobile devise and use RFID, QR Code or NCS checkpoints within the buildings. 
  • Officers scan those checkpoints during their patrols.  Those checkpoints are labelled with the name of the area that they are located within the building.  For example, a checkpoing at the read door would be labeled “rear door”.  When the officer scans that checkpoint “rear door” would appear on the report.  Patrol tracking provides proof that the officer is patrolling the entire location in the required intervals.

Many security companies use hand written reports and patrol logs. Hand written paperwork can be hard to read and even harder to organize and store for future reference.  It is important that you select a company that leverages technology to provide you with proof that they are doing their job.

security company references

Can they provide you with 3 recent references?

The best companies have long lists of happy customers.  It is critical to always ask for references.   Many business owners make the mistake of asking for references and then never calling the references before making a decision.  They think that no one would use their unhappy customers as a reference. You are right.  However,

Here’s the thing

If you ask the right questions, you can learn a lot from calling their references. 

Most companies that provide poor service tend to measure a customers happiness by how ofter the customer complains.  There are many customers that are unhappy with their security vendor, but do not want to go through the process of replacing them.  It is also possible that their definition of quality service is much different than yours.  The things that they consider to be acceptable may not be acceptable to you.

Ask security company references the following questions:

  • How long have you been a customer of the security company?
  • How do you feel about the service that you are receiving?
  • If could change anything about the service or the company what would it be?

No one enjoys going through the process of hiring a security vendor. With that in mind, it is always best to follow an effective process for choosing your security service vendor.  Looking for the right things now, allows you to make a decision that you will not have to make again for several years.  Knowing what to look for in a Washington DC security guard company is the most important part of the decision making process. At a minimum, it will prevent future headaches and inconveniences.  If you are looking for a security company.  Please keep our company in mind.