Firm is accused of lax transit security

Source: LARRY LEBOWITZ AND SCOTT HIAASEN, Miami Herald (FL), Sun, Jan. 08, 2006

At Miami-Dade’s Metrorail stations, armed security guards say they are often asked to work seven days a week or up to 20 hours straight. And still, several current and former employees say, The Wackenhut Corp. can’t cover enough shifts, forcing supervisors and roving patrols to fill the gaps and sometimes leaving ”ghost posts” that stay empty for hours. The allegations, brought to light in whistle-blower lawsuits filed by former Wackenhut guards, raise questions about the company’s ability to live up to its five-year, $89 million no-bid contract with Miami-Dade Transit. That agreement caps each guard’s workday at 13.5 hours and requires that no post be left unguarded. Miami-Dade County’s auditor is now investigating whether Wackenhut has overbilled the county — an accusation the company denies. The auditor has seized scores of payroll records and company log books detailing guard activity along the county’s transit lines.