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Book Review: Operational Policy Making

​By Allen R. Sondej. Butterworth-Heinemann;; 242 pages, $49.95..

Security professionals will want to keep this volume handy for constant use. As the title promises, Operational Policy Making for Professional Security: Practical Policy Skills for the Public and Private Sector offers a thorough treatment of policy making, from theory to execution, as well as everything needed to formulate, communicate, and implement necessary policies properly.

While a book that discusses policies and procedures is rarely described as an interesting read, this one is an exception. The author manages to turn a dry subject into a topic that keeps the reader turning page after page. The use of frequent case histories and real-world examples helps the reader understand how policy can protect a company or institution or, conversely, be its downfall in a court of law.

Good policy as a cornerstone of encouraging effective performance is the main idea that resonates throughout the book. While longtime security management professionals may not think of policy and procedure as the building blocks that drive their staff members to success, the author sets the stage for this truth. A successful security program must be grounded in security protocols based on fundamental and established policies and practices. Procedures are written to support those policies. Well written policy and procedure allows staff to operate effectively and efficiently, while highlighting personnel and issues that do not. It all begins with identifying and developing necessary policy. This book shows security professionals how to do that.

The book is well organized, with a comprehensive table of contents and index, and it covers a wide spectrum of the information needed to understand, develop, communicate, and implement effective policies. Special features highlight and recap main points from each chapter, providing the reader with easy reference. The appendix contains examples of a job description and a general policy, illustrating what each should contain. 

Almost everyone who serves in a leadership position is responsible for developing and implementing policy. This book can and should serve as a how-to-guide for creating powerful policies that will assist in the protection of the company or institution, enabling the security program to perform successfully and effectively.

Reviewer: Derk J. Boss, CPP, CFE (Certified Fraud Examiner), CSP (Certified Surveillance Professional), is principal consultant for DJ Boss Associates. A casino security and surveillance expert, he serves on the ASIS Gaming and Wagering Protection Council and is former chair of that council. He is a published author and recognized speaker.