The Power of Collaboration

Partnerships have been a recurring theme during my term as president. Earlier this year, ASIS signed MOUs with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), the Security Industry Association (SIA) and the Building Industry Consulting Service International (BICSI) to encourage collaboration, promote public safety, and protect critical infrastructure. This past month we announced a partnership with the International Association of Healthcare Security & Safety (IAHSS) to provide greater programming at ASIS 2013. And of course, we continue to expand our partnership with (ISC)2 including more education and networking opportunities at ASIS 2013 and the collocated (ISC)2 Security Congress.

We are also collaborating on matters where we may require additional expertise. For instance, the ASIS Foundation and the University of Phoenix have partnered to conduct a joint study to identify critical competencies that security professionals will require in the next 10 years. As part of this effort, security executives, academic thought leaders, and representatives from (ISC)2, SIA, and the Department of Homeland Security will participate in a National Roundtable on Security Talent Development to foster consensus around emerging security risks the industry will face and the resources professionals will require to meet those challenges. Findings will be released at ASIS 2013.

Another important partnership that grows stronger every year is our relationship with the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP). Aligning our organizations makes sense. We share many common goals: reporting and preventing crime and disorder, identifying criminals, and ensuring the security of people and property.

Collaboration comes in many forms. A few weeks ago I attended the ASIS North Texas Chapter’s 49th Annual Law Enforcement Appreciation (LEAN) night. The event drew hundreds of law enforcement officers as well as security practitioners from all industry sectors for a night of camaraderie. Events like LEAN, which take place at chapters worldwide, offer a terrific opportunity to celebrate joint accomplishments and deepen connections–while spotlighting the special relationship between private security and public law enforcement. Also, our chapters often hold networking and education programs where law enforcement personnel are invited to share their perspectives and hear from members in the private security arena. These programs helps us understand each other’s challenges, as well as discover opportunities for cooperation. When done right, these public-private partnerships can serve as a much needed force multiplier for police departments and private security staffs that are already stretched thin.

In an effort to showcase some of these collaborative best practices, the ASIS Foundation and the ASIS Law Enforcement Liaison Council launched the Matthew Simeone Award for Public-Private Partnerships. Last year’s winner, the Tourist Oriented Police Services (TOPS) Unit in Orlando, FL is a great example of a well-conceived and executed partnership. Established in 1996, TOPS works with area attractions, hotels, and restaurants to share information, crime trends, and training techniques in the tourist corridor. Since its inception, statistics show a significant reduction in crime. As a result, this unit has become a national model.

Partnerships can be hard work. They require us to think and act differently, to broaden our scope and in particular, to consult and listen more intently to find areas of commonality. Yet the rewards are immense. After all, we know we are able to accomplish much more together than by going it alone.

Of course, the cornerstone of all these partnerships has been the support and dedication of our members. There are countless volunteer hours that have made all these partnerships possible—and for that we owe a huge debt of gratitude. For it is through these alliances that ASIS is able to increase the depth and breadth of its information and offerings, broaden its scope and value, leverage its resources, and promote greater collaboration across the profession.

View more of the monthly column, President's Perspective