Armed guards at drill site weren’t licensed to operate in WisconsinHeavily armed guards at an Iron County mining site have been temporarily taken off the job after it surfaced that they're not licensed in the state.
By: By Shawn Johnson, Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
Heavily armed guards at an Iron County mining site have been temporarily taken off the job after it surfaced that they're not licensed in the state.
Pictures of officers from Bulletproof Securities wearing camouflage and carrying semi-automatic rifles spread far and wide over the past couple days after the mining company Gogebic Taconite(GTAC) hired them to guard their test drill equipment.
But Bulletproof, which is based out of Arizona, is not licensed here. Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services spokeswoman Brittany Lewin says “Bulletproof Securities has contacted the department and has indicated its intention to submit a license application.”
GTAC issued a written statement saying it had suspended use of Bulletproof's services until the necessary approvals have been granted.
Sen. Bob Jauch, D-Poplar, said it never would have happened if GTAC had sought out a licensed Wisconsin security firm instead of hiring a “militia style” security team from another state.
“GTAC has nobody to blame but themselves in hiring a firm that has not been complying with Wisconsin law,” said Jauch. “Frankly, I think it shows that GTAC has no respect for the public by putting people in the woods that frighten citizens.”
Bulletproof had no immediate comment. Neither did the Iron County Sheriff.
The state says it typically takes two to three days to process a license once all requirements are met, though that time frame covers the company's application. It doesn't account for the criminal background checks required of security guards.