DES MOINES, Iowa July 30 2020 — Dennis Herman has worked in security for 25 years, and in that time, you could say a lot of his duties were pretty standard security measures. “We do job site security, we do a lot of armed security, personal security, VIP, executive protections,” said Herman.
However, in two-and-a-half decades, Herman, who owns First In Security and Investigations, had never been hired to enforce face mask guidelines, until now. “Of course I’ve always said I would guard toilets for the right price,” joked Herman. “It’s just business. “The business of enforcing mask mandates is a reality nowadays, with more and more retailers implementing safety measures that include requiring customers to mask up before shopping. Some retailers are contracting private security firms, like First In, to help assist in enforcing guidelines. Herman says it normally involves one or two unarmed guards who offer customers face masks if they aren’t already wearing one.
“If they refuse to wear a mask, we refuse them entry,” he said. However, customers aren’t always compliant. “It can get hostile,” he said. “People tend to forget that these retail businesses are privately-owned. Private business is private property. They have the right to establish whatever policies they see fit. And as such, they can either comply with the policy, or they can leave.
“Herman says several customers have yelled phrases at him and his guard, such as ‘get a real job,’ or ‘grow up. ‘”It’s been a lot of yelling, screaming, cursing,” said Herman. “Just the level of temper tantrums that supposed adults are having. Yes it’s a free country…they’re free to do business elsewhere. “Matt Mihalakis, who lives in Durango, says he’s one of the people who has chosen to do business elsewhere. “Masks are the number one divisive tool of 2020,” said Mihalakis. Mihalakis says he believes masks are political and “turns people against one another. “However, he says, he doesn’t have any plans to enter a mask-mandated business, sans-mask.