Security is a multi-billion dollar industry, and one that’s booming at the moment. If the recent massacre at the Fort Hood military base in Texas has taught us anything, it’s that increased security is a pretty good business move. According to the Wall Street Journal, as of the end of 2011, security firms employed about 1.4 million people across the world. That’s more than the combined staff of the US Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard. And the numbers are only going up.
Of course, this growth in the security industry is a good thing. Protecting people and property is a good thing. But, as with any business, there are costs associated with being part of the security industry. These costs can be quite high.
Last year, the US government spent more than $60 billion on private security contractors. That figure is expected to hit nearly $100 billion by 2015. The problem is that the services provided by private security firms aren’t free. Private security firms pay insurance companies, which pay for certain types of security services.
The problem is that these insurance costs tend to get passed on to the private security companies that have to pay them. Last year, private security companies spent more than $4.8 billion on insurance, with $2.4 billion going to defend against terrorism. That’s a hefty chunk of money, and costs borne by companies like Blackwater and other private security firms.
When someone from the FBI shows up at your door with a search warrant, it’s not likely that you’re going to be getting a Caddie. It’s possible that you may be getting a fully loaded, armored SUV worth over $250,000. But, you’re still being charged for the privilege.
Private security companies don’t just hire out their vehicles; they employ large numbers of highly skilled and well-trained soldiers and guards. This is a rather expensive way to secure property and conduct business. The more that is spent on security, the less of a profit is left for the private security company.
Private security company London firms also employ large numbers of workers. Sure, you have to pay for your own worker, but that’s no small amount of money. It can be difficult to find qualified workers for these jobs. And they tend to make better money than workers in the private sector. According to the Wall Street Journal, an average security guard at Blackwater makes $22,000 a year. That’s $5,000 more than the average worker.