Keep Your Guard Card Current!
Increased scrutiny on FBI background checks and unexpected delays in getting guard cards approved by state agencies make it essential that Blackstone security officers and their managers companywide ensure that guard licenses are kept up to date and any potential blemishes in backgrounds be addressed immediately, according to company officials.
The failure of addressing these issues can, and has, resulted in a loss of income on the part of the employee and a crippling of Blackstone’s ability to provide qualified personnel on job sites in a timely manner.
“Guard cards are expiring before the renewal process has run its course,” said Phoenix Director of Operations Ken Vandiver. “This prohibits the guard from working and puts pressure on the company to find qualified replacements.”
Vandiver said the key is to begin the renewal process at least 90 days ahead of your expiration date so you can submit your request 60 days prior to your license expiring, which is within the accepted time limit required by most states. “In some cases people just wait too long to renew because they still think they will get their cards in two- to three-weeks and that’s just not happening,” Vandiver said.
This problem is not unique to Blackstone, but is being felt throughout the industry. However, Blackstone officials can point to several recent instances where this has placed personnel and the company in awkward situations, not because the company is negligent, but because some DPS operations have become more stringent and slows down the licensing process. Vandiver said based upon information supplied by the FBI, new rules have been added to the game.
“This is a major problem because guard cards are expiring before they are being renewed and that prohibits the guards from working,” Vandiver said. “That hurts them and the company.”
Vandiver said the media is paying renewed attention to these occurrences because of negative incidents involved security guards.
“We’ve had renewals denied for background checks because of things that happened as long as 20 years ago when the applicants were juveniles or young adults,” Vandiver said. ‘The press is flagging negative incidences involving guards which has attracted the attention of the FBI and other policing agencies. In many cases the offending guards do not have the training we require and provide here at Blackstone. So the good guys are paying the price for a few bad apples and the security companies that do not provide adequate oversight or background checks.”
Vandiver stressed that the quicker any blemishes are addressed the sooner they can be resolved and the company can get on with business as usual. “There was a case of a guard who was accused of a crime but never convicted,” Vandiver said. “But it still showed up on his record and DPS pulled his card until he could prove he was never convicted. The FBI found that. The key is do not allow your card to expire in the first place.”