Bail Bondsmen Do Good
By Sandra Ryder
My last article, “The Bail Bonds Industry Should Learn From the Banking Industry”, outlined a difficult future for the bail bonds industry if some serious issues are left unchecked. It evoked a strong response from bail bond insiders across the country and subsequently triggered a deluge of comments, emails and voice mails. While most agreed with the article's premise, that it is in everyone's best interest when the bail bonds industry is held to the highest standards, many were quick to point out that some are unilaterally making that commitment.
One of the key points in my previous article centered on the importance that public perception and sentiment plays in driving regulatory and statutory changes. If the public cries foul loud enough, their collective voice will motivate politicians and regulators to step in and respond with action.
Nothing does more to ingratiate a community to the any industry, on a local level, than grass roots charitable initiatives. Bail bond agencies frequently act as benefactors to numerous charitable causes, but often do so without recognition or fan fare. For example, Payless Bail Bond's Christmas on Wheels, gave fifty bikes to needy Las Vegas children over the holidays, but did so without press releases or an expectation of anything in return. All across the country, other stand out bail bond agencies performed similar good deeds in their own communities and with similar anonymity. Far too often, these types of activities go unrecognized by the public. At the same time, these charitable programs go a very long way in establishing bail bondsmen as integral parts of our communities and good stewards of the public's trust.
While community outreach is important, it will be a moot point, if the commitment to high ethical standards on a professional level is not achieved. Of course, regulators define what the minimum standards are in their respective states, but some bail bondsmen have taken the initiative to elevate their professionalism and committed to doing business in the highest ethical manner. Bail bondsmen demonstrate this commitment by the company they keep and the industry affiliations they maintain.
Expert Bail, which is backed by AIA, an established family of bail bond surety companies, strives to bring value to consumers by directing them to bail agents that have met a certain level of experience, professionalism and trustworthiness. They claim to be “comprised of the industry’s best and most experienced agents who are all committed to raising the standards in the bail industry.”
Beyond affiliations within the industry, bail agents can demonstrate their professionalism by expressly committing to a formal code of ethics. The Professional Bail Agents of the United States (“PBUS”), an industry trade association, has created a code of ethics that outlines best practices. Its code delineates how member bail agents should interact with clients, the general public, the government sector and fellow bail agents.
While none of the aforementioned things guarantee bail bonds will be immune from greater scrutiny or oversight. They do provide great examples of ways in which bail bondsmen can demonstrate their commitment to improving their respective communities, businesses and industry. At the end of the day, that is what the general public, regulators and law makers are looking for anyway.
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