One of ASIS International’s founding members, and a leading voice in the security industry for five decades, has died. Timothy J. Walsh, CPP, was an early pioneer of ASIS International who served at the committee, chapter, and national level. He created and taught the Assets Protection Course (APC), the longest running education program in ASIS history and coauthored the Protection of Assets Manual. Named in his honor, the Timothy J. Walsh, CPP, Asset Protection Course I Award pays tuition, transportation, and hotel costs for an ASIS member to attend an iteration of APC I.
Walsh earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Fordham University, a Master of Law degree from New York University, and Doctor of Law degree from St. John’s University. Walsh was in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War and was assigned to special investigations. When he returned to the United States, he took a civilian special investigations post with Naval Intelligence.
Walsh’s private sector career started at the Retail Credit Company (now Equifax). He went on to work at the Allen B. DuMont Laboratories and the Sperry Gyroscope Division of Sperry Rand (later Unisys), then earned an impressive reputation as president of Harris and Walsh, a security consulting firm.
Having heard of ASIS from a colleague at Naval Intelligence, Walsh readily accepted an invitation to a chapter meeting in New Jersey when he moved to the private sector. He joined the Society in 1956 and almost immediately became his chapter’s secretary/treasurer.
In the late 1950s, Walsh was a member of the Professional Criteria Committee that decided standards of education, training, experience, competence, and ethics for ASIS membership. The committee also prepared parts of the original ASIS Policy Guide, and refined the Society’s bylaws. In the early 1960s, as a member of the same committee, Walsh helped develop model curricula for university courses in security. The effort bore fruit in 1963, when New York University’s Management Institute began a two-year certificate in industrial security management. Walsh called the program “a milestone event for the Society.”
Walsh was ASIS president from 1964-1965. He led a Society of 2,400 members, 10 times the number of charter members, with a net worth of $69,000. He brought Industrial Security (the predecessor of Security Management) from a quarterly to a bimonthly magazine. Regarding his presidency, Walsh recalled devoting his energies to ensuring a smooth transition during a change in staff executive directors, strengthening the leadership structure of ASIS, and improving the Society’s financial position.
In his inaugural address, Walsh observed, “A plan to improve the fledgling specialty of industrial security has been transformed into a dynamic organization, active and influential on behalf of the profession.” Walsh felt this achievement was even more remarkable “because in the doing not only was a Society established but also a profession was defined.”
His vision of the Society’s future challenged the Society’s leaders of the future. At the Society’s 10th anniversary, Walsh predicted ASIS would eventually boast “a membership of 8,000 or more, a national headquarters owned by the Society and housing a permanent staff of 30, the world’s most complete reference library on industrial security containing over 2,000 titles in a dozen languages, a monthly magazine running 75 to 100 pages, a dozen hardcover texts published by the Society or in collaboration with it, funded research in all areas of professional interest under grants of at least $250,000, definitive technical standards developed by the Society’s committees, a continuing professional placement program active enough to serve the needs of all members, and programs of formal instruction at universities in all parts of the country based on Society-developed materials.”
Noting that “the day on which these possibilities will be realized is as near-or far-as the membership’s desire and willingness to work for it,” Walsh issued a challenge to members: “Every one of you ... should be able either to look back with pride on some substantial service already rendered to the Society or look forward with resolve to a contribution soon to be made. If the latter, don’t wait to be asked.”
In 1967, Walsh served as a member of the first ASIS Foundation Board of Directors (later Trustees). Walsh also played an influential role in developing the Certified Protection Professional® (CPP) program. He was a member of the task force that proposed a certification program to the ASIS Board of Directors and served for four years on the Professional Certification Board. He was involved in the monumental task of identifying and organizing the subject matter to be included on the original certification examination.
In 2004, Walsh was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award during a networking luncheon at the ASIS Annual Seminar and Exhibits. Following a video highlighting his illustrious career, Walsh received an ovation from the audience.