***** The Professional Protection Officer: Practical Security Strategies and Emerging Trends. By the International Foundation for Protection Officers; published by Elsevier/Butterworth-Heinemann; available from ASIS, item #1886, 703/519-6200, www.asisonline.org; 623 pages; $54 (ASIS members), $59 (nonmembers).
The International Foundation for Protection Officers (IFPO) has produced one of their most ambitious works to date: an expansion of their private security education manual published in 1988. More than two dozen contributors provided material for the book’s 45 chapters of officer training material—much of it new.
The contributors are experts and have provided solid information deeply grounded in their own practical experiences. That helped them meet the challenge of covering a range of topics, with only a couple of misses.
Case in point: Chapter 29, “Terrorism,” fails to address religious extremism, a big omission. It is actually Chapter 2, “The Evolution of Asset Protection and Security,” which mentions the radical Islamic motive for terrorism. This would not be a problem if the book were meant to be read cover to cover, but the organization of the text as a “go to” classroom guide on specific subjects, with chapters meant to stand on their own, demands that all the relevant material be within each section.
One exceptional redeeming value is the text’s continued emphasis on ethics. In recent years, executives have found themselves prosecuted civilly and criminally, and security guards may face the same fate if they lose their ethical grounding. The moral stressor, for all who work in the security profession, is coined perfectly by the authors when they write: “Professionals think in terms of their duties and obligations, not their authority.”
Topics from traffic control to hazardous materials demonstrate the manual’s diversity of topics. The authors finish each chapter with a segment that discusses emerging trends, making the manual itself an asset to acquire and protect for any security professional.
Reviewer: Richard Petraitis is a security contractor for the State of Illinois. He is a member of ASIS International.