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Book Review: Security and Loss Prevention

Security and Loss Prevention. By Philip Purpura. Butterworth-Heinemann;; 772 pages; $79.95.

Author Philip Purpura wrote Security and Loss Prevention to help the readerSecurity and Loss Prevention: An Introduction become a better critical thinker: to help the reader understand and apply theories, methodologies, and practical strategies to real-world challenges. The author superbly achieves the goal in the seventh edition of this book that reads like an encyclopedia of security and loss prevention knowledge. Additional goals include enhancing skill sets and providing a degree of understanding of the world of security. The book is organized in three main parts: an introductory section, one on reducing loss, and a third on problems and countermeasures.

Chapters begin by clearly stating their objectives and key terms, so readers can immediately know if they are relevant. Further enhancing the ease of reading are the many photos and diagrams illustrating the concepts. Each chapter has case studies of problems and solutions. Multiple exercise bars pose a problem—“You Decide” and “You Be the Judge”—where a scenario offers an opportunity for the reader to consider multiple approaches to its challenge. Chapters end with “Case Problems” to review a threat or problem and formulate a mitigation approach. References complete each chapter.

The book is an excellent study aid for ASIS members preparing for the CPP exam. Chapter 2 is an outstanding reference for career seekers, because the author discusses the types of security and loss prevention, the relationship between public police and private security, and government studies on relationships and ethics. For the student considering a career, or a police or military professional considering transition to private sector security, this book is packed solid with information to evaluate the pros and cons of the decision.

A title referencing loss prevention must discuss retail loss prevention, and this one does. It tackles topics such as active attacker, the Internet of Things, total retail loss, and enterprise security risk management (ESRM). Each topic is well covered, so read the book: it’s in there. 

Reviewer: Alan F. Greggo CPP, CFE (Certified Fraud Examiner), serves the retail business at Microsoft in real estate and security asset protection. He is a past chair and current member of the ASIS Retail Asset Protection Council.