Book Review - Private Security in the 21st Century: Concepts and Applications

By Edward J. Maggio; Reviewed by Chris Hertig, CPP, CPOI.

***** Private Security in the 21st Century: Concepts and Applications. By Edward J. Maggio. Jones and Bartlett Publishers,; 374 pages; $73.95.

This work is something of a paradox. It has some very impressive strengths but these are accompanied by glaring deficiencies.

The book discusses the business of protection holistically. It branches out beyond the standard coverage of other texts in many respects, providing a diverse entry-level perspective on the security industry. The 12 chapters cover an array of topics, including historical development, entry-level business techniques, private security guarding skills, and loss prevention. Each chapter provides a review, case studies, and key terms.

Author Edward Maggio is to be lauded for his insight regarding the expanding role of protection officers. He clearly understands that the “guard” is gone and the “consultant/coordinator” has arrived. He applies a business-oriented approach to the protection officer mission. The emphasis is on leadership and problem solving. He could have, perhaps, placed a little more emphasis on technology, however.

Also worthwhile is the attention given to emerging “big picture” issues such as unrestricted warfare, an issue vitally important to securing a global society. The author gives this topic due attention. He also does a nice job of explaining gangs, maritime piracy, and terrorism, all of which are ,dynamic threats that belong in security texts. He finishes the section with tips to follow if taken hostage.

Sprinkled throughout the work are various aids to the reader such as case studies in which questions are posed and later answered.

Advice on performing protective functions is concise, easily understood, and placed in visually appealing boxes. But some of the advice is questionable. There are examples where information of a legal nature could be easily misinterpreted.

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