This primer surveys the diverse components that make up a security function. It begins with the history of the industry, the role of security, career opportunities, security education, and the impact of the terrorist attacks of 9-11.
***** Introduction to Security, Ninth Edition. By Robert J. Fischer, Edward P. Halibozek, and David C. Walters. Butterworth-Heinemann. Available from ASIS, item #2045; 544 pages; $70 (ASIS member); $77 (nonmember).
This primer surveys the diverse components that make up a security function. It begins with the history of the industry, the role of security, career opportunities, security education, and the impact of the terrorist attacks of 9-11. While discussions on the role of security and the impact of 9-11 are well presented, the career section does not address how to prepare for a security career or examine the different pathways into the career such as transitioning from law enforcement or the military. The chapter reviewing security education and certification thoroughly examines federal regulatory efforts but does not address in detail state programs and regulatory requirements. A table in the appendix summarizing state standards would have been an invaluable resource.
The second section of the book covers the basics of defense and includes a variety of topics from legal issues to contingency planning and emergency response. The legal section in particular offers a valuable discussion of issues someone new to the field should be aware of. The chapters covering physical security and security technology are very basic, with detailed discussions on locks, keys, and lighting. Comparatively little information is provided on integrating, designing, and managing card access and CCTV systems, and the book barely addresses emergency notification systems.
The third and final section of the book discusses specific threats, solutions, and the future. The authors review a number of security issues common to all sectors of the industry, such as violence and drug use, but otherwise offer a narrow discussion of industry-specific topics. Two areas the authors discuss are retail and transportation security issues. The reviews are detailed and provide insight into those industries. However, the authors missed an opportunity to familiarize the reader with broader security practices and more information about other sectors, such as schools, hospitals, and the hospitality industry. That said, the shortcomings of the book are primarily ones of emphasis, not quality. This book could serve as an introductory text providing a foundation for a security course.
George Okaty, CPP, is a member of the ASIS School Safety and Security Council. He is director of safety and security for Tidewater Community College in Norfolk, Virginia. His experience includes law enforcement, retail security, cultural property security, and healthcare security.