Wackenhut

From Academic Kids

The Wackenhut Corporation is a US-based corporation, headquartered in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Wackenhut was founded by Mr. George Wackenhut, a former FBI agent. In 2002, Wackenhut was purchased by Group 4 Falck, a Danish corporation.

Wackenhut is a leading provider of security guard services in North America. A number of Fortune 500 companies are among its clients. One subsidiary is Wackenhut Services Incorporated (WSI), which is a primary contractor to US government agencies including NASA and the US Army. Wackenhut also provides contract security and emergency response services to local governments, particularly in public transport systems. Wackenhut also specializes in providing security for employers experiencing difficulties with labor unions, including strike actions. Not surprisingly, Wackenhut has a poor reputation with labor unions as a result.

Wackenhut is heavily involved in protecting nuclear reactors and other high-security government installations, including those of the Department of Energy.

During the 1980s Wackenhut was a leader in airport security but refused to compromise the company's standards by cutting wages under pressure from airports and airlines. As a result, Wackenhut only protected four airports in the United States on September 11th. Airports in the United States are now protected by the Transportation Security Administration of the Department of Homeland Security.

In 2004 Wackenhut's nuclear plant guard services came under intense public and media scrutiny, mostly due to concerns over terrorism but also under pressure from labor unions such as the SEIU, which operates a Web site devoted to attacking Wackenhut.

Wackenhut and private prisons

Wackenhut is no longer involved in the private prison industry in the US. Wackenhut was involved in the operation of private prisons during the 1980s, but abandoned the market due to low returns on investment, what it viewed as excessive government regulation, and negative publicity affecting its other more profitable operations.

Wackenhut and the CIA

It has been rumored that Wackenhut and its employees have had ties to the Central Intelligence Agency, particularly in the 1960s.

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