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December 2017 ASIS News

Looking Back: A Year of Change

By Thomas J. Langer, CPP, President, ASIS International

It's hard to believe that 2017 is coming to a close and, with it, my term as president of this great member association. Dick Chase, CPP, PCI, PSP, will assume the role of president on January 1, 2018, and I know his commitment to the success of our Society is solid and unwavering. So as I step aside, I want to take a moment to reflect on the changes I have seen, and the promises I see materializing in the years to come.

First, we are lucky indeed to have such a committed headquarters team. As many of you may have noticed during the annual seminar and exhibits in Dallas, the staff personnel seemed to be literally everywhere at once, making the attendee and exhibitor experience a great one. They are at the forefront of many initiatives around our promise of member value and experience, and I encourage you to reach out and introduce yourself to a staff member any chance you get. They are here to serve us all, and you'll easily see that in their dedication.

The strategic plan is the bedrock of all we do at ASIS International, and we have spent 2016 and 2017 driving the plan all the way down into the organization. When we do anything, we must be able to see its genesis in the plan, and members must to be able to see the value to them. We have work to do translating the strategic plan for the chapters and councils, but I know that's an objective for 2018.

Diversity and inclusion remain priorities for 2018 and beyond. Because we are a membership association, our leadership must reflect the diversity of our members. Not only is it at the foundation of our global success, is it just good business to gather opinions and ideas from all walks of life. I want everyone who is looking for a professional association to see themselves in ASIS International more than in any other organization.

On a seemingly mundane but crucial project, I am excited about the Web redesign and launch slated for early 2018. As a global association, we must be able to deliver content and value on platforms that are device agnostic and responsive to our membership. We believe we have that platform now. Improved search, better cataloging, and an overall intuitive experience await you.

Even more advancements and enhancements are planned for the membership, as a variety of work streams come to fruition in 2018 and beyond. As I noted, member value sits at the epicenter of everything we design or overhaul, so hopefully you will see even more results in the months to come. Again, it has been my professional privilege to serve you in this capacity and I look forward to supporting Dick Chase, the board, and you, my colleagues, in 2018.​


ASIS International announced that Richard E. Chase, CPP, PCI, PSP, will serve as its 2018 president. Chase will be the Society's 63rd president, succeeding Thomas J. Langer, CPP, who will transition into the role of chairman of the board. Christina Duffey, CPP, will assume the role of president-elect, and Godfried Hendriks, CPP, will serve as treasurer.

The results of the board election were announced at September's 63rd Annual Seminar and Exhibits in Dallas. ASIS members reelected incumbents Jaime P. Owens, CPP, and John A. Petruzzi, Jr., CPP, and elected Ann Trinca, CPP, PCI, PSP, and Darren Nielsen, CPP, PCI, PSP, to the 17-member board. Petruzzi was elected to serve as secretary of the board.​


Special thanks to ASIS members Larissa Lindsay and Doug Powell, CPP, PSP, who served as roving reporters at ASIS 2017, sharing their thoughts about various events, exhibits, and education sessions for the event website.

Lindsay, who contributed articles all week long, observed that Texas hospitality was "in full swing" and that innovations on the show floor demonstrated "game-changing applications…advances in security that are exciting as the industry is moving forward with new technology."

In his recap, Powell noted, "The Annual Seminar and Exhibits in Dallas felt like renewal to me. It was rich, it was fun, and it gave me a total immersion in the information and resources I need to develop as a security professional. I cannot wait for the 2018 conference in Las Vegas!"

Read all their contributions at​


In law enforcement, a person is more likely to try breaking out of a police station than to break in. That ideology is what Laura Meyers faced in 2009 when she joined the Security Assessment Unit (SAU) as a provincial police constable with the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP). Eventually someone broke into a detachment and assets were compromised. "That was a big turning point," she says, and it set the stage for how the SAU functions today.

The OPP is one of North America's largest deployed police services with more than 6,200 uniformed officers, 3,100 civilian employees, and 800 auxiliary officers. Meyers' unit is part of the Justice Officials Protection and Investigations Section, which manages threats associated with justice officials such as judges, police officers, crown attorneys (prosecutors), and corrections staff, as well as provincial facilities.

When the unit was formed in 2007 under the leadership of now-retired Sergeant Joey Gauthier, PSP, police officers assigned to the unit obtained the ASIS certification for the Physical Security Professional® (PSP). The interest in certification stemmed from "ensuring that we were subject matter experts in the physical security field," says Meyers.

As the unit became busier, Meyers earned her PSP and was promoted to sergeant, managing the daily operations of the SAU, and she continued to support ASIS certification for SAU members. But if a member with a PSP certification moved on or up in the ranks, "we lost that education, experience, and certified person," she says. Meyers suggested an alternative method to her managers: recruiting security consultants in the private sector who were already certified and bringing them into the law enforcement pool.

As a result, Patrick Ogilvie, CPP, PSP; Gregory Taylor, CPP, PSP; and Michael Thompson CPP, PCI, PSP, were contracted as full-time security consultants to provide their security and risk assessment expertise to the OPP.

"When the message went out that Sergeant Meyers was looking for persons that had professional certification, the three of us saw an amazing life opportunity," says Ogilvie. A longtime ASIS member, Ogilvie had chaired the Ontario Chapter for the previous four years. He recalls that police officers who were planning to retire came to chapter meetings to learn about the corporate security world. But in this instance, OPP was looking for certified civilians to go from the private sector into policing. "It was an about face," he says. "It had never been done before."

Meyers initially faced some challenges with bringing in civilians to conduct security assessments. As a test, the new team completed a project dealing with courthouse security. They assessed gaps in security that needed to be brought to the attention of the command staff. Once their professionalism and expertise were demonstrated, the benefits of their experience and certification were fully embraced by all members of the OPP. The project was well received around the province. "People recognized that the civilian security consultants were assessing what the security issues were, putting them on paper, and assisting in taking steps to get them addressed," she adds.

The security consultants offer alternatives that may not have been considered previously. When making recommendations, "we refer back to the Protection of Assets reference guides, the ASIS standards and guidelines, and the asset protection courses," says Ogilvie. Whether those recommendations are enacted depends on a multitude of factors, including available funding. Meyers adds that the recommendations are on paper so the operational manager at the facility can assess the cost. And the fixes are not always big ticket items—sometimes they might be changing a procedure or adjusting training.

Recently, Meyers was called to testify at a hearing and was cautious about giving evidence on why she had or had not recommended a physical security action. "Having the board-certified consultants within the SAU adds a lot more credibility," she contends. "We would never have the reputation and expertise that we have today and produce the products and deliverables that we do if we had not brought in the consultants." As a result, the unit's staff sergeant and superintendent are applying for the Certified Protection Professional® (CPP) credential themselves.

The OPP has also created a chief security office within the security bureau, which will affect how the SAU operates in the future. The unit is creating a database of security incidents so members can see what's happened in the past and anticipate what could happen in the future. "There are still some barriers to break through, some silos," says Meyers. "But as the world changes, this unit gets busier and gets called more frequently to see where gaps lie or what could be done to mitigate a situation."

Other police services are actively considering new approaches to integrating asset protection and security best practices into their daily operations and to increase collaboration. To that end, the SAU convened the Ontario Security Policing Network Group. "We have groups galore in for-profit businesses such as retail, hotels, and attractions," says Ogilvie, where security professionals can collaborate and talk about what they are doing individually and collectively. Ogilvie proposed forming a similar group among the larger police services around the province. "We all need to be on the same page," he observes.

On his first day on the job, Ogilvie joined a security briefing by the staff sergeant. "I kind of held back," he recalls, "but the staff sergeant drew me in, saying 'you're a part of this.'" Because Meyers "sold the value of certified consultants and the benefit they bring to the OPP, over time people saw the value and welcomed us with open arms."

"I tip my hat to Laura for her amazing insight," says Ogilvie. "It was so out of the box."


Krishnamoorthy Arunasalam, CPP, was granted Life Membership by ASIS. He has served ASIS as a regional vice president, assistant regional vice president, chapter chair, senior regional vice president, and a dedicated member of the Singapore Chapter for more than 20 years.​


Congratulations to these certificants who have achieved lifetime certification.

  • Neil F. Westgarth, CPP
  • Andrew G. Wyczlinski, CPP
  • Joseph P. Hebert, CPP
  • Richard J. Tofani, CPP
  • Ralph D. Chiocco, CPP
  • Clifford R. Baugh, CPP

By Peggy O'Connor, ASIS director of communications. ​


Maritime Security: An Introduction, Second Edition. By Michael A. McNicholas. Butterworth-Heinemann,; 514 pages; $125.

The second edition of Maritime Security: An Introduction is the very best kind of security book. It is broad in scope and deep in detail. Its description of the maritime environment and seafaring culture is so comprehensive the reader can almost smell the salt air and hear the cries of the seagulls. Author Michael McNicholas is an experienced practitioner of maritime security, and it shows. Other contributors are from the U.S. Coast Guard, Navy, and law enforcement, so the base of knowledge is wide. 

Written in the style of a textbook, with learning objectives and other educational tools, it is highly readable. The detailed table of contents helps readers find specific topics, which include everything from international maritime law to port security assessments. The author begins with an overview of the maritime environment, then turns to specific security problems—such as supply chain vulnerabilities, piracy, stowaways, drug smugglers, cybersecurity, and terrorism—as well as broader challenges including threat mitigation, security management, high-level security strategy, and response.

Each chapter has a clear purpose. For example, one explains the various documents and forms used in the industry and how shipping orders are placed. This chapter would be essential to someone conducting an investigation related to the shipment of goods or who needs to learn how information and money flow in this industry. Other useful chapters explain international and U.S. maritime security regulation, assess piracy risk, and look at irregular migration worldwide. The chapter on cybersecurity would be applicable to any industry, but it drills down into the reasons that this sector is particularly vulnerable to attack.

"Security Management and Leadership in Seaports" is a chapter that discusses everything from leadership to ISO certifications and security metrics, plus essential training for port security personnel. It is a good example of the thoroughness of this book.

While the title suggests it is an introductory work, the level of detail inside would be appropriate for the full range of users—new security professionals to advanced practitioners and experienced consultants working on projects related to maritime or port security. This is the kind of book that will get a lot of use as a reference guide for security professionals engaged in protecting this vital industry.

Reviewer: Ross Johnson, CPP, is the senior manager of security and contingency planning for Capital Power and infrastructure advisor for Awz Ventures. He previously worked as the security supervisor for an offshore oil drilling company in the Gulf of Mexico and overseas. Johnson is the author of Antiterrorism and Threat Response: Planning and Implementation. ​