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With the government shut down in full swing, and thousands of federal employees either furloughed or working without pay, there are increased private security opportunities. 

The government shut down on December 21st, 2018 and is prepared to be shut down for a long time. While this situation is unfortunate and worrisome for the thousands of government employees who are currently working without pay, it provides a unique opportunity for private security to help fill in. 

Which Government Departments Are Shut Down? 

This current government shutdown is considered a partial shutdown with nine federal departments closed, including: 

-Department of the Treasury

-Department of Agriculture

-Homeland Security Department

-Department of the Interior

-Department of State

-Department of Housing and Urban Development

-Department of Transportation

-Department of Commerce

-Department of Justice

There are more than 420,000 federal workers, employed across many departments who are continuing to work through the shutdown, but without pay. 

This number includes more than 41,000 federal law enforcement and correctional officers from the FBI, Drug Enforcement Agency, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and more. 

The department of Homeland Security are also working without pay, which includes roughly 53,000 Transportation Security Administration employees and 42,000 coast guard employees. 

54,000 employees from the Customs and Border Protection department are also working without pay throughout this shutdown. 

In addition, there are 380,000 federal working who are being furloughed, or temporarily laid off without pay. 

What Does This Mean for Private Security? 

While the government shutdown is frustrating and stressful for thousands of Americans who are employed by the US government, it provides an opportunity for private security guards to help fill in the security gaps created by this situation. 

While many of these thousands of employees are required to still do their jobs during the shutdown, even though they are not paid immediately, many decide to “call in sick.” 

During a government shutdown, federal employees are not allowed to take vacation, however, they can still use their sick days. 

We have started to see many TSA agents calling in sick for work, causing airport security lines to become longer and more stressful than ever. 

Many of us live paycheck to paycheck and government employees are no exception. Without a paycheck for weeks, even months at a time, many are forced to get part time jobs to make ends meet. 

With TSA agents and other government security services professionals not on the job, someone needs to step in and help maintain order and safety. 

Private security guards offer a wealth of knowledge in the security field that can be used to help fill in the gaps left by unpaid and furloughed government employees. 

Private security guards are trained in everything from emergency response services to crowd control. 

With airports seeing a spike in TSA agents calling out of work, they are looking for trained and qualified guards to help provide the additional security they need to ensure everyone’s safety and keep things running smoothly. 

Although this is not the best circumstance for many federal employees, the government shutdown causes increased private security opportunities.