PGA Village to continue G4S contract following controversy over Omar Mateen's employment

Posted at 10:46 PM, Dec 14, 2016

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- The PGA Village neighborhood will continue its contract with G4S, following months of questioning whether the company should continue to head security for the neighborhood.

Some residents expressed concern with G4S after learning the Pulse Nightclub shooter, Omar Mateen, worked in their security gate for G4S in the days before the massacre.

“About 65 percent of the individuals and the owners and the residents in here wanted them to go,” said resident Tom Lesko.
The Property Owners Association board knew this was a controversial decision, but decided G4S was still fit to run security, but with some new stipulations.

The board will be asking G4S to consider changes to the contract. They include requiring G4S to communicate directly with neighborhood leaders, not through a legal team.

The board wants G4S to allow property managers to see the annual employee reviews. They also want G4S to report to the POA board any personnel issues that arise with any security guards.

They want the right to meet directly with the guards and have a say in which guards are stationed at their community.

None of this was in place before the Orlando massacre.

The proposed changes give some comfort to residents like Lesko.

“Obviously that’s better than nothing. Change is always good,” Lesko said.

Over the summer, a team of residents formed to research G4S and Omar Mateen and the screening process.

They found that G4S did not violate any policies when it transferred Mateen to PGA Village after he was removed from working at the St. Lucie County Courthouse.

The St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office wanted him gone for allegedly threatening a deputy.

RELATED: PGA Village residents investigate G4S Security

But, the team of residents did find that there was room for improvement when it came to communication between G4S and the neighborhood.

That’s what the proposed changes aim to improve.

Lesko hopes residents will continue to pressure the board and G4S to make improvements, and stay involved in the neighborhood security.
“If you really care about your home and care about your place, you should have an active role in it,” Lesko said.
G4S will still need to agree on the new stipulations. If they do not agree to the changes, the board could have to go back to square one.