June 5, 2013
By Neal Tepel
Private security officers in Baltimore perform a vital service to the community. Although the jobs they perform are essential for the smooth operation of business and safety in the city of Baltimore, these devoted men and woman earn as little as $9 an hour, drastically below Baltimore’s Living Wage of $10.59.
Being a private security officer in the nation’s eighth most dangerous city is a hazardous job. As reported in the Baltimore Sun, in 2010, James Ball was shot and killed while working the overnight shift at a downtown office building. It’s unacceptable that officers like James Ball risk their lives for as little as $9 an hour.
In addition, adequate pay would keep more experienced security officers on the job providing a more effective security force.
“We need better wages to be able provide security for our families,” said Regina Banks, a single mother and security officer protecting a downtown office building. “We work hard at a dangerous job keeping students and the public in Baltimore safe every day, but we can’t even put food on the table or the pay bills.”
32BJ SEIU estimates that security companies like Brantley & Crown Security could save taxpayers over $33 million dollars over the next decade by simply raising standards for 1,000 Baltimore security officers to a level where officers no longer relied on public programs.