HONOLULU (KHON2) — The man accused of attempted murder for attacking a security guard in downtown Honolulu has been released pending investigation. But police said they’re still holding him on multiple warrants. The attack brings to light the dangers security guards face on the job.
Phoenix Security Hawaii President Louis Siracusa said security officers are hired to observe and report situations as they occur. But he said things have gotten much more dangerous for them in the last year.
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Security guards are almost everywhere. Their job is to deter criminals and make sure people and property stay safe. They are expected to deal with unruly people. But Siracusa said the type of situations they are dealing with are much more serious.
“During COVID, we saw a lot more action with the homeless,” he explained. “They got a little bit more brazen with their damages and theft, and they just don’t care.”
Tuesday’s attack on security officer Michael Stubbs shines a light on the dangers they face. According to a witness, Stubbs was asking the suspect, who was causing a disturbance, to leave.
The witness said the suspect hit Stubbs with a metal water flask, knocking him unconscious. Stubbs fell, face-first onto the concrete. Stubbs’ family said he has not regained consciousness and remains in ICU.
“For security personnel, it’s tough cause they’re in the middle. They’re stuck between their customers, the public, homeless and they got to deal with it all,” said Siracusa.
Siracusa said he advises his employees to back away if they feel threatened. And he’s against arming his guards.
“The last thing we want to do is have the handcuffs taken away from you and used against you — have your taser removed and be tazed by your own taser or have the taser removed and somebody else gets hurt because of your taser,” said Siracusa.
Instead, he’d like courts to be tougher on those who break the law.
“I’m not saying throw everybody in jail, other than the criminal element. But if we can get more teeth in the system, it would be better,” explained Siracusa.
The security industry, like so many others, is struggling to find workers.
“We could use about 30 more people here right here, right now, and we’ll just take what we can get provided they’re qualified,” Siracusa added. “Manpower one is tough. Qualified manpower is tougher.”
He said security officers go through a background check in addition to classroom work, a state certification program, lessons in self defense and on the job training. And most don’t make the cut.
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“People will come in, they have criminal records, or they have a drug problem. We’re not going to deal with that,” stated Siracusa.