Convicted felon says she wore police identification provided by Solaren security company
The latest development in WSMV4′s Thin Blurred Line investigation reveals photos of a felon wearing a security uniform.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - Nena Beckman knew she was taking a risk when she was wearing the uniform of a security guard for the company Solaren Risk Management.
Beckman is a convicted felon, serving time for forgery and introducing contraband in a penal facility.
State regulation reads that a felon cannot work security until five years after their sentence ended.
Beckman’s prison sentence ended in 2018, but she has work orders that show she was working for Solaren, wearing a security uniform, in 2021.
State law also requires that someone obtain a license in order to work as a security officer in Tennessee.
“I’ve never in my life had a security license,” Beckman said.
While Beckman said she was originally hired to wave traffic, she was asked to begin working nights as security for Solaren, which is owned by CEO Jack Byrd.
“Why would they even risk putting someone with your criminal history in a job like that?” asked WSMV4 Investigates.
“I think (Byrd) just wanted people to fill his contracts. He wanted the money. He wanted the money just like I wanted the money,” Beckman said.
Byrd and his security company that works throughout downtown Nashville and the Opry Mills mall has been revealed in a series of WSMV4 Investigations for employing people who are not certified law enforcement but still wear police identification.
Our investigations found that four of Solaren’s former and current employees, all who were not certified by the state to be law enforcement, have been arrested for, or are currently under investigation for impersonation of a police officer.
Like the people arrested or under investigation for impersonation of a police officer, Beckman said she too was allowed by the company to wear police badges and vests.
“Be it a badge that said police across the front or a brass silver badge,” Beckman said. “Did you think this seems wrong?” asked WSMV4 Investigates.
“I knew it was,” Beckman said. “I’m a convicted felon, I know what impersonating a police officer is.”
The Thin Blurred Line
Beckman kept records of Solaren paying her through cash apps and work orders from the company.
On the receipt for working at the Opry House, the customer signature is signed as “security – no signature.”
She said when she wore the identification as an off-duty police officer, the vests and badges given to her by the company were given at the beginning of a shift and taken away at the end.
“If someone had been in a real emergency, and they came to you seeking help, would you have been able to help them?” asked WSMV4 Investigates.
“I would have dialed 911 with my phone,” Beckman said. “I couldn’t pick up the radio and say ‘Hey, this is officer such and such. Get that person who is hurt.’”
Beckman said after seeing our investigations, she wanted to come forward to show if a felon can look like a police officer, anyone can.
“I didn’t understand how we were getting away with it. But it was good money. I hope I don’t go to jail after this interview,” Beckman said.
Beckman said she was injured on the job, and because she was a contract employee and did not have workers comp, she was ultimately phased out of jobs.
Byrd agreed to an interview with WSMV4 Investigates at the beginning of our investigation, but then backed out.
A spokeswoman for the company wrote in an email that Beckman never worked as security and added, “Solaren is proud to state that it is a second-chance employer and engages returning citizens ONLY when they are qualified to work in specifically designated positions.”
That spokeswoman then asked for the photos of Beckman in uniform, which we provided.
The Solaren spokeswoman then wrote back that they had no idea that Beckman was working security.
WSMV4 Investigates pointed out that at the bottom of one of her work orders, it was signed next to customer signature: security, no signature, and that someone with the company must have reviewed that work order.
WSMV4 Investigates will continue to ask how all of this is occurring under Solaren’s watch.
If you have something you want us to know about Solaren, please contact Jeremy Finley at Jeremy.email@example.com.
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