Douglas Beaver, CPP, was a police officer with the Montgomery County Police Department in Maryland, when he started his own security and investigations services business on the side. As the business grew, he eventually had to choose between continuing in law enforcement or embarking on the entrepreneurial path. He took the leap.
For many, transitioning from a military or law enforcement career into the private sector can be an unsettling and daunting experience. Beaver tackled this challenge by researching the relationship of law enforcement to private security firms. During his research, he discovered the American Society for Industrial Security—now ASIS International—and he sought to learn more about the opportunities ASIS offers. Understanding the value of networking and the importance of remaining current within the industry, he joined the Society to tap into this security management resource.
For 20 years, he served as president, CEO, and chief investigator for AmGuard Security and Patrol Services. By the time he sold the business to a national provider in 2005, he had grown his company to include more than 300 employees to support operations in the Washington, D.C., metro area.
Having sold his company, he wasn’t ready to stop working. He attained his Certified Protection Professional (CPP®) certification in 2009. “I realized that I needed more than simply business experience to compete for senior level positions within the security industry,” Beaver says. “I needed a gold standard certification that would demonstrate my knowledge and competency to prospective employers. Unlike any other security industry accreditation that I’ve seen, the CPP certification covers a broad spectrum of security principles and practices.”
“The CPP designation provided me with a distinct advantage when competing for positions, particularly in 2009, when jobs were scarce, and unemployment remained high,” he adds. “The certification was instrumental in my selection for my present senior level security role. A CPP certification was written into the position description and was prerequisite for even being considered.”
Beaver now serves as director of corporate security for the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C. He oversees a team of 40 officers with five direct reports. His responsibilities touch access control, scheduling personnel, developing emergency preparedness and business continuity plans, budgeting for system upgrades, conducting interviews, purchasing equipment, and more.
In addition to these job responsibilities, he is presently an active member of two ASIS councils. Embracing his museum role, he serves as chair of the ASIS Cultural Properties Council. He also serves on the Global Terrorism, Political Instability, and International Crime Council.
Far from the job shortage that faced the industry a decade ago, Beaver foresees a bustling security industry moving forward. “Opportunities abound in both public and private services,” he says. “As society becomes more and more complex, security opportunities will continue to grow. This potential cannot be realized passively. To be successful, you must remain actively engaged in the global security community—the ASIS community.”