by Max Brantley
Stephens Inc.'s security force has been the subject of some unwelcome attention since one of its staff of 45 took offense at questions from Surgeon General Joe Thompson and called in the LRPD to roust Thompson. Rent-a-cop Jacob Farque may have been legally entitled to sit at the curb of Thompson's home late at night and work on a computer from who-knows-what wireless source, but it's not surprising that Thompson might want to question him about his presence and activities. (The alibi is that Farque was on duty keeping a watchful eye over the home nearby of a Stephens mucketymuck.)
A friend provided me this copy of a local security industry newsletter that introduces you to the chief of Stephens security and also reports his remarks on the qualifications for serving on that elite — and LRPD-revered — force.
It also details divisions of responsibility within the organization, such as the executive protection force. As for qualifications:
For Unarmed Officers, a minimum requirement of a High School Diploma plus 2 years experience in the security field or 2 years college education. Of course, experience coming from law enforcement, military, security C.I.D., and other types of fields are also considered and accepted. Armed Officers must have an Associates Degree plus 2 years experience in a security related field. Stephens will accept experience from security, law enforcement, military, and similar backgrounds in lieu of college hours.
Farque was armed that night. As I've mentioned, the state rules on private security officers may be open to a variety of interpretations, but they say about registered security officers:
"All commissioned security shall carry their weapon only on their assigned site in the performance of their duties. The carrying of the weapon will be prohibited if the commissioned security officer is not performing his/her duties."
No public official has yet expressed an interest in the conduct of the security officer that night. Not too surprising. As the newsletter notes, the security boss "reports directly to the Chairman and CEO of Stephens Inc. which is Mr. Warren Stephens." In these parts, you don't get much higher than that.