Durham County To Choose New Security Contractor, Replacing G4S
Commissioners will settle year-long controversy at 7PM meeting tonight
After a year-long campaign by Jewish Voice for Peace – North Carolina and seven other community organizations, Durham County is set to replace its $1m annual private security contract.
Durham County holds a long-standing contract with G4S Secure Solutions, a UK-based private security company. In July 2014, following community outcry, Durham County moved G4S to a month-to-month contract. In November 2014, Durham County decided to end that contract and open up the security business to a Request for Proposals.
The RFP was hailed as a huge victory for the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement, which has targeted G4S for boycott since a 2012 call from Palestinian political prisoners. However, G4S has continued to hold the month-to-month contract during the RFP process.
Tonight, Durham County staff will recommend that Virginia-based Old Dominion Security Services take over the contract. The Commissioners are expected to approve the new contract.
The County meeting will take place at 7PM in the Durham County Government Administrative Complex, 2nd floor, 200 East Main Street and is open to the public.
G4S signed a contract with the Israeli Prison Service in 2007, and its machinery and security officers have been deployed in checkpoints and illegal settlements in occupied Palestine. G4S has also been implicated in human rights abuses across the globe, including torture in prisons; in August 2014 the company was awarded a $118 million contract in Guantanamo Bay.
In 2014, an interfaith coalition of seven North Carolina organizations, including Jewish Voice for Peace, the Salaam-Shalom Committee of the Church of Reconciliation, and the Muslim American Public Affairs Council, wrote a letter to the Durham County Commissioners asking that they reconsider the contract with G4S. Over 200 County residents also added their photographs to a visual petition at durhamdropg4s.tumblr.com, and 5000 people across the world signed a petition thanking the Durham County Commissioners for ending the contract.
Jewish Voice for Peace – NC