Jan 10, 2008
NASHIVLLE, Tenn. - Metro is taking steps to make sure the drinking water
This comes after a NewsChannel 5 exclusive report that revealed a former
Wackenhut security guard at Metro Water Services still had his ID and
This means more trouble for Wackenhut, the security company contracted
Thieves hit the Davidson County Election Commission stole computers
under Wackenhut's watch. There is also the possibility of a security
breach threatening all Metro offices.
Officials at Metro Water Services said Thursday they created new
security ID badges for Wackenhut guards.
This is a day after NewsChannel 5 aired a story highlighting a possible
"With the appearance of the badge on TV, we felt that it was important
to change out the badges so that by the end of the day every guard would
have a new badge," said John P. Kennedy of Metro Water Services.
This comes after John Kennedy, a former security guard, said he still
had his uniform, security ID and key to the locks on security fences.
"Nobody's ever contacted me about returning their uniforms," said
Kennedy, who helped guard Nashville's drinking water supply.
How many other former guards have sensitive IDs or keys?
Wackenhut Senior Vice president Marc Shapiro admits it's a problem.
"It is something clearly we take seriously," he said in a telephone
interview. "We looked into it. We had our team explore it. It's not
something we want to gloss over and say it didn't happen or shouldn't
Admitting to the problem is not enough for critics of Wackenhut.
Metro Councilman Michael Craddock is concerned about the unaccounted for
uniforms and IDs.
He said an imposter could blend in with real guards.
"They're in every Metro building and all wear the same uniforms,"
Craddock said about Wackenhut security guards.
Metro Water Services is moving to close any security gap. It's likely
most other departments will soon do the same.
"I'm certain others are aware," said Kennedy of the Metro Water
Services. "And it would really surprise me if every other department
isn't learning from our experience?"
Metro's contract with Wackenhut runs through 2012.
Shapiro said it is the company's responsibility to return all Metro
property. He said they tried to contact Kennedy to recover the uniform
and ID, but couldn't find him.
He said Wackenhut had his number and address, but never contacted him.
The former employee has arranged to return the ID and gate key to Metro
But are there others out there and will they do the same?
Metro Water officials said they will meet with Wackenhut staff next
Metro plans to spell out exactly what is expected of the company to make
sure something like this doesn't happen again.
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