It is with great sadness I read about the passing on of Reaction Officer JM , from 24/7 Security while fighting off 3 robbers who intended to rob a garage shop. As a person with 24 year experience in the security industry, and close links to 24/7 Security I can testify this is not a un common experience. Security Officers do heroic deeds on daily basis. However what is absolutely pathetic is the apathy these wonderful men and woman are treated with.
The South African public’s treatment of security officers doing their work, is shameful. People cannot help themselves making them the bud of every second joke .Endless conversations will be about security officers not doing their work and/or being involved in crime .They get treated with shouts of complaints swearing and insults every day of their lives. How can a security officer tell us what to do? How can a security officer tell us where to park? How can a security ask us to watch our actions and language? Who do they think they are, trying to order us learned, wealthy individuals what to do and how to do it?
A fact that is not mentioned is that contract security is the thin red line, between chaos and anarchy in South Africa. If a proper Police Service was available, there will not be a market for contract security. Security Officers puts limb and life on the line, to protect the property and goods of most South Africans in some way or from every second of our lives. That for a paltry salary. Who of you have not seen security officers run to work in the morning not to be late on duty, or still next to the road late at night trying to get home.
Yes, security is a big industry in South Africa. However what is not known, is that it is probably the most over regulated industry in the country. From salaries to uniforms to working hours is governed by laws and the Department of Labour .Security Company owners do not swim in money. However they are responsible for employing at least 450 000 people in South Africa, one of the biggest employment sectors in our economy.
It is a fact, there are unscrupulous security company owners, and there are some security officers involved in crime. It is like any other industry in South Africa .There are good ones and there are bad ones. However you will not find security officers, taking corruption money next to the road at a traffic stop, and no company in South Africa loses as many fire-arms as the SAPS. Security Service providers did not create the industry, that was done by government and its inability to keep its citizens safe.
For you the normal armed response client, I want to do the following calculation. An average armed response fee is about R500 per month. So you pay R16,66 per day , to have an armed response company come when needed .In other words you pay 69 cents per hour , for an armed reaction officer to come to your aid when you need him, putting his life in danger. How much should somebody pay you , to put your life in danger willingly.
SIXTY NINE CENTS……………………..makes you think, does it not.
So for all you out there, who enjoys to bully security officers? Be scared, be very scared, because it is not if you will need their help. It is when you are going to need their help. For your sake I hope you get a Reaction Officer like Reaction Officer JM, and not what you deserve.
To my fellow colleagues in the Security Industry, men and woman. I salute you and is exceedingly proud to serve with you every day .Especially men and woman like Reaction Officer RM.