An Anderson student grabs a gun from a security guard at school and now parents are questioning safety. 7 On Your Side is following up on a story that happened Monday at a school in Anderson School District 5.
District Officials confirm an elementary school student was able to grab a security guard’s gun from the holster and hold on to it for several seconds before it was taken away.
Everyone is ok and the security guard from private company “Defender Services Inc” has been replaced.
Now we’re looking into what qualifications these security guards must have to work.
We discovered the amount of training to become a security guard in our state is less than other jobs, some of which don’t involve protecting your children or carrying a gun.
To be an armed security guard the state law enforcement division says you’ve got to be 21 with a high school diploma. You have to pass a drug test a criminal background test and pass State Law Enforcement Division training.
That training includes a 4 hour written test and a 4 hour handgun training course, only 8 hours total. We took a closer look and compared that with the training to be a cosmetologist.
A cosmetologist must go through at least 1500 hours of training and must pass a test.
We tried to compare that training to those working at the company Anderson District Five uses. The company has not returned our calls yet.
The district told us it started using “Defender Services, Inc” because it’s cheaper than using only school resource officers but also because most of the employees have law enforcement or military experience.
We will keep calling and looking for answers so we can tell you what safety measures these guards are equipped with when they protect your children.
UPDATE: May 21, 2015
7 On Your Side asked Anderson District 5 for a copy of their contract with Defender Services Inc. In the company’s general policies we studied their policies, some of which include that guards aren’t allowed to run, but must only walk briskly when needed and they can’t challenge anyone with a weapon.
We found their SLED license was renewed this past April. They also have to be re-certified to carry a gun yearly.
SLED told us each company may decide which type of gun holster they use. We asked former security guards who said officers typically use a gun holster with a level 2 or three retention level. These levels have more safeguards to make sure a gun stays in the holster.
We’ve asked Defender Services Inc to tell us what their guards use but they will not return our calls or even answer our emails. We will stay with this story until we hear back and update you then.