Some security firms say they see the need to provide counter-terrorism training for their employees.
By LAURE CIOFFI
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
YOUNGSTOWN -- Private security firms say they are feeling the effects of Tuesday's terrorist attacks with calls for increased security throughout the Mahoning Valley.
Ohio Security Systems Inc. had a 40 percent increase in coverage Tuesday, said Donald Guarino , vice president of the Warren-based company that employs about 1,400 people.
"It's temporary. Everyone is taking precautions right now. It's a deterrent if they see more security on the premises," he said.
Private security firms throughout the area say they are getting calls for more guards at malls, banks, office buildings and other areas.
The terrorist attacks in New York, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania will likely have a long-lasting effect on the private security industry, firms say.
Sees training need: John Childers, vice president of Shane Security Services in Poland, said he sees the need to provide counter-terrorism training for his 56 employees.
Security officers frequently receive on-the-job training and some classroom instruction by their companies, security firm officials say.
The only state requirement for a security guard is that the person does not have a criminal background. Anyone carrying a firearm must have 20 hours of training from a state certified firearm instruction center.
"I think [increased security] is going to be a topic at board meetings and executive meetings in the near future. Who is to say this couldn't happen in Youngstown?" Childers said.
Security company officials say they expect increased demands for security guards, but they don't know how that will affect the pay.
Starting salaries range anywhere from $5.25 per hour to $7 per hour, depending on the type of security and company.
Officials at area security companies say they realize increased private security isn't the only answer, but it does offer some piece of mind to many.
"With the circumstances we saw [Tuesday], I only feel the security industry is going to probably be more accepted and in demand. We are all shocked by what happened. We are just trying to deal with the circumstance and provide security to those who call," said Terri Hempstead, administrator and investigator for Tri-State Investigations in Youngstown.