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Resource ID: #22936
Subject: Security
Source: WNYC
Date: 06/28/2006; 07/17/2006; 09/27/2006; 09/30/2006; 10/12/2006



As the focal point of a study of the private guard industry in New York state, WNYC looks at Tristar Patrol Services, "which had seen a dramatic expansion after the September 11 attack in NYC, getting more than $80 million in contract work with the City of New York." The company had more than a thousand employees, mostly young minority males, and they had the task of protecting all of the city's office space, infrastructure and Fire Department facilities. The investigation found that Tristar's owner, Gary Zimmer, had been convicted of assault and had to resign as a police officer for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, yet attained the right to hold a security guard company license when a judge, believing the owner's misrepresentation of his criminal case, granted him an exemption from state law. In addition, there were other issues as Tristar "had been disqualified from doing state work for misrepresenting it had properly credentialed guards, but went on to win a multi-million dollar, multi-year City contract." The company failed to properly compensate guards, including not paying for vacation or advanced state security credentials, and Tristar also did not pay "hundreds of thousands of dollars it was required to pay the union representing the guards to cover union dues and health and welfare benefits required by the contract." But because of the New York Secretary of State's lack of investigators, regulations were not enforced. Also, there is no uniform requirement across the country for the training and qualifications for security guards and companies.

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