THE MAGAZINE

The Design and Evaluation of Physical Protection Systems, Second Edition

By Mary Lynn Garcia; Reviewed by Jerry D. Loghry, CPP, CSP

*****The Design and Evaluation of Physical Protection Systems, Second Edition. By Mary Lynn Garcia; published by Elsevier/Butterworth -Heinemann; available from ASIS, item #1764, 703/519-6200 (phone), www.asisonline.org (Web); 370 pages; $60 (ASIS members), $66 (nonmembers).

This new edition updates Mary Lynn Garcia’s original text, published in 2001. The events of 9-11 and the violent, uncertain years since have spawned a wide variety of new information included in this edition, focusing on new terrorist and criminal strategies, legal changes, and emerging detection and response technology. The new edition also expands its scope to executive protection, cargo security, and the cyberworld, areas not considered in the first edition.

As with the original, this book will successfully take a beginner, student, or seasoned security professional step-by-step through the process of designing and evaluating a physical protection system. The three major components of this process—determining system components, designing physical protection systems, and analysis and evaluation of such systems—are covered using an easy-to-read engineering approach. One important topic often overlooked in many physical security publications is covered here: risk assessments and risk management approaches to physical security. The section is a well-written and academically accurate.

Some references may make the reader feel the book was written for the nuclear industry, military posts, or other high-security government applications. Readers may have trouble applying the book’s material to their shopping mall, office building, or other less security-intense situations. They may also find the mathematical equations and engineering writing overly complex.

However, Garcia’s combination of explanations, summary references, and review questions in each chapter makes this book an excellent instructional tool as well as a key reference book for almost all security professionals dealing with physical protection systems. It’s a great resource whether the reader is in the military or the school house, the office building or the refinery.


Reviewer: Jerry D. Loghry, CPP, CSP (Certified Safety Professional), is loss prevention information manager for EMC Insurance Companies of Des Moines, Iowa. He holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in industrial technology.  He has more than 20 years of experience in the security, safety, and risk management fields, is a member of the American Society of Safety Engineers, and is a former chairman and current vice chairman of the ASIS Central Iowa Chapter.

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