News 3 Investigates: Do security guards get enough training?
MADISON, Wis. — Security guards are a common site at malls, concerts and now even churches, but are they capable of protecting you?
Following a security guard-involved shooting at a Madison bank, News 3 investigated what training is required of licensed security guards in the state.
Security video obtained by News 3 shows alleged robber Luis Narvaez walking into a Chase Bank on Milwaukee Street on March 1. The video shows Narvaez, wearing a hood, approach the teller.
Surveillance video shows private security guard Charles Daehling on his phone as Luis Narvaez approaches a bank teller. Daehling gets up, raises his weapon and within four seconds, Narvaez, unarmed at the time, is shot in the back. He was later pronounced dead.
Without training on how to best handle a situation like this, most of us have no idea how we would react, which is exactly why newly accepted police officers in the academy spend so much time preparing.
“In Wisconsin, we follow the Department of Justice’s 720-hour curriculum, so a police officer anywhere in the state is going to get the same training,” explained Ken Zimny, the director of the law enforcement academy at Madison College.
The 18-week police academy training is meant to cover the whole gamut of policing.
“We dive into everything from report writing, to interviewing, to domestics, to driving, to vehicle contacts and firearms.
Roughly 130 hours is spent on how to handle firearms and tense situations that may require use of force.
“Stress is one of those things that does weird things to people,” Zimny said. “It makes them make poor decisions, it makes them make slow decisions and the only way to combat that in a real situation is to have realistic scenario-type training.”
It is a very different story for Wisconsin security guards.
“You don’t even need to know how to tie your shoes, as long as you have this license, you’re a security guard,” said Jim Mankowski, the owner of JBM, a Madison-based security guard contracting firm.
According to the State’s Department of Safety and Professional Services, in order to be a licensed armed security guard, you must pass a background check and pay a fee. Guards also often possess a permit to carry a weapon. No training is required.
“I could have my concealed carry permit, get that piece of paper after I pay my money and by the end of the week, I could be a security guard,” Mankowski said.
Mankowski, who is also a Belleville police officer, said he requires his staff to complete 20 hours of training.
“We want to make sure that we provide more than the illusion, we want to make sure that if there is something that happens, we can actually do something,” he said.
Mankowski believes what happened at Chase Bank was a direct outcome of not being properly trained.
“Unfortunately, it wasn’t done right and now we have someone that is dead .”
The district attorney cleared Daehling, who was unlicensed, of any criminal liability.
The former Marine told News 3 in a statement, “I feel there is nothing more to be said about this unfortunate incident. My family and I wish to move forward with our lives.”
“That security guard had no business being there. Period,” Mankowski said.
Mankowski said he is more concerned that Daehling is far from the only guard not fit for the job. When asked if he feels the majority of security guards working in Wisconsin are properly trained, he said he didn’t believe so.
Some businesses have taken the guesswork out of it and are opting to hire off duty Madison police officers.
“We can provide trained officers that have a lot of years of experience on the street, a lot of years of experience dealing with individuals in all types of situations, so we do get hired to provide security,” Capt. James Wheeler of Madison police said.
Those businesses now include the Chase Bank Milwaukee street branch. Perhaps it’s a step in the right direction. However, Mankowski said without proper legislation, reliability of guards and how they defend you will vary greatly.
“We have a duty to protect others and you have to get out there and give these people the bare minimum and the tools necessary to do that.”
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