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Book Review: Private Security

Private Security: An Introduction to Principles and Practice. By Charles P. Nemeth. ​CRC Press;; 796 pages; $79.95.

This weighty book merits its size. The author describes and analyzes the full scope of activities associated with private security. It is an encyclopedic work that effectively covers the often complex and broad scope of private security.

Author Charles Nemeth provides an excellent foundation for the study of security. His initial chapter recounts the development of the field from ancient times and the Middle Ages to more recent changes in the industry.

The book goes on to address major concepts and components of private security. Each chapter can stand alone as an assignment for a class. Especially helpful to the student are the key words and discussion questions at the end of each chapter. In addition, clever Web exercises reinforce and provide additional value to the text. The author effectively uses graphics to illustrate his analysis. He is also to be complimented for giving concrete information that will assist a neophyte who wishes to enter the field.

Given the extensive number of topics in the text, descriptions must be concise. Among those that are covered in more detail are public security and the law, risk management, physical security principles and methods, as well as a cogently written chapter on crisis management. Vulnerable targets such as cultural, educational, and medical institutions are covered thoroughly, as are the principles of responding proactively or actively to active shooter incidents. The information on IT and computer security is crucial for rapidly changing technological and electronic threat environments.

I recommend that the appendices be considered integral to the text. They provide a gold mine of forms ranging from various guides related to active shooters, workplace violence, campus and building emergencies, and more. This book offers a rich exposition of the field that will be valuable to students and faculty, and enrich the library of the practitioner.

Reviewer: Dr. Stephen Sloan, Professor Emeritus, University of Oklahoma, is a member of the ASIS Global Terrorism, Political Instability, and International Crime Council.