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WA – LE – Amid protests and unrest, demand for security jobs in Washington has jumped

Amid mounting layoffs in Washington state that have been linked to the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for security guards has jumped, a silver lining following a year of virus-related closures and street protests that have roiled the country and the state. Security guards are now one of the most in-demand occupations in the state, landing in the top 25 roles being sought by employers, despite the nature of the job in which guards could be confronted with life-or-death decisions. “The summer hit and that is when we had a surge in demand,” said Steve Jones, CEO of Allied Universal, which provides security systems and services. “There’s just not enough police resources to stop everything that is going on.” During chaotic street protests that erupted in Seattle following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, local demonstrators torched police cruisers, shattered glass on downtown store fronts, looted some businesses and tagged others. Officers from the Seattle Police Department responded en masse but phones for private security firms began ringing off the hook. Allied Universal is one of the largest security firms in the country, and Jones said inquiries for their around-the-clock services increased. “When it’s nights and weekends and after hours, that is when scary things happen,” he said. “And our folks are working around the clock.” Brian Humphries, the regional manager for Security Services Northwest, said demand for help from his firm has also increased. “We’ve hired 100 employees and have grown in people hours three-fold over the course of the last year,” he said of his Seattle-based firm, which has been in business for more than 40 years and operates in four states. “The change has been significant with all the civil unrest in the area.”  [full article]

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