Scott Walker should hold Bulletproof Security to a higher standard 08.13.13

Read this CAP Times article online

We now know that Gov. Scott Walker’s office was contacted by an Arizona security firm while it was operating illegally in Wisconsin.

What we don’t know is whether the governor and his aides were coordinating with the Arizona-based Bulletproof Security operation when it was working without a license at the Gogebic Taconite mine site earlier this summer. Or whether they were just taking courtesy calls from the firm.

But an open records request by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has revealed that Walker’s chief of staff, Eric Schutt, was in contact with Bulletproof as the firm was initially moving heavily armed security personnel into northern Wisconsin.

Yet no effort was made to ensure that the firm was licensed to operate in Wisconsin.

And, worse yet, no consideration was given to the impact that sending armed security forces into the north woods might have on already-tense relations in the region. Or on the region’s tourism industry, which can’t be benefiting from the reports of unlicensed paramilitary-style guards roaming an area that has been popular with hikers, campers and birdwatchers.

We share the concern expressed by state Sen. Bob Jauch, D-Poplar, who said: “I’m surprised and stunned that the governor’s office had knowledge of a security firm that was going to conduct themselves illegally in the state.”

After it was exposed, Bulletproof withdrew, collected the proper paperwork and last week received its credentials to operate in Wisconsin. It wasn't sanctioned for operating without a license.

But the firm's activities are troubling.

A letter obtained by the Journal Sentinel reveals that the company’s president directed his armed guards to cover their faces and remove their name tags. That removes even the barest measure of accountability

State officials — including the governor — should determine if masked men with guns will continue to be deployed by Bulletproof in areas of northern Wisconsin near where families vacation.

If that is the case, the governor’s office has a responsibility to lead the way in demanding that this firm — which has already been caught operating illegally in the state — be held to a higher standard than the governor and his aides have applied up to this point.

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