Guilford County plans to enter into a contract with Weiser Security Services, Inc. that will be effective Sunday, Feb. 20, and that calls for both armed and unarmed security services at various locations in county buildings and on county properties.

The new contract, which will cost the county more, is slated to be adopted by the Guilford County Board of Commissioners this week.

The contract calls for one year of service with an option to extend that contract for two one-year renewals at the same pricing, terms and conditions – as long as there’s a mutual written agreement signed by both parties.

Guilford County has a hybrid security model. The county has full-time security staff that protects county property, employees and commissioners – but the county also outsources a lot of that work to a private company each year.

In recent years, the county has done things like beef up security for social services and other county operations and has increased the number of armed officers working county locations.

Due to COVID-19, and more people in society choosing not to work, the security industry, like many others, has faced major personnel issues over the last two years. 

According to information that Guilford County staff has provided to the commissioners, over the past six months, Weiser has seen heavy turnover and has had difficulty filling their vacancies at the existing pay rates.

“Under the current contract,” the information states, “unarmed security officers are receiving $11 per hour, armed officers are receiving $14 per hour, supervisors are receiving $12.50 per hour, and the account manager is receiving $16.50 per hour. Many of their officers who have resigned cite the low pay rate as their reason for leaving, as their pay is below current market value.”

In an attempt to recruit and retain security officers, the new contract – if adopted by the Board of Commissioners as planned – will honor Weiser’s new requested rates: $16 per hour for unarmed security officers, $19 per hour for armed security officers, and $17.50 for supervisors. The account manager would get  $21.50 per hour under the new agreement.

Guilford County Security Department officials stated to the commissioners this week that an increase to $16 per hour would help Weiser be more competitive and therefore limit “the turnover they are currently experiencing.”  

They went on to state that Weiser does an “outstanding job” for Guilford County, and provides the service at “a significantly lower price point than we could otherwise absorb with County security positions.”

The increased compensation for Weiser employees would result in a total contract increase of $331,342 per year.  The contract for the coming 12 months would amount to an estimated $1,226,879 if county needs remain as predicted.