Certification Profile: Elizabeth Dumbaugh, CPP
“Your military experience is very impressive. But what does it have to do with security?”
That’s the attitude Elizabeth Dumbaugh encountered when she transitioned from a career in the U.S. Army to private security practice in 2014.
In her nine years of active duty service she held positions like explosive ordinance disposal (EOD) officer, company operations officer, company commander, and Iraqi Police Bomb Squad partnership chief . But some employers didn’t understand that her experiences in the military translated directly to civilian skill sets.
“My background as an EOD officer provided me with a strong foundation in risk management and the threat assessment process,” she explains. “As I transitioned from active duty, I had the opportunity to join security consulting firm THG Consultants, founded by Marine veteran and ASIS member John Harris.”
Harris became a mentor for Dumbaugh as she sought to establish her credentials for success. To tackle this challenge, he recommended membership and board certification with ASIS International. After joining ASIS, she pursued and attained the Certified Protection Professional (CPP®) certification.
“My certification provides demonstrable proof that my military experience prepared me for work in the security industry,” she notes. “The CPP shows that, regardless of your educational background or prior skill set, industry leaders recognize you possess the skill and knowledge necessary to join their ranks. I appreciate that ASIS recognizes the value of my military service, because that service qualified me to meet the certification’s security management experience requirements.”
Dumbaugh demonstrated the value of her expertise on a site visit to an apartment complex suffering from incidents of crime.
“The regional manager was adamant that the crimes were all perpetrated by residents and underplayed the need for an audit,” she recalls. “As I walked the property, I noticed a narrow footpath behind a dumpster. As I began to follow the footpath, the manager became irritated—but after walking through the woods, we discovered a sizable encampment.”
When the manager saw the makeshift campsite, strewn with clothes and beer cans, his attitude shifted significantly. He reported to his supervisor that the visit was very valuable to identifying security issues on the premises, and the client opted to work with Dumbaugh on its entire portfolio of properties.
“The CPP body of knowledge is imperative to my consulting work,” she adds. “Having fluency in industry standards and guidelines helps me work with my clients on establishing policies that comply with industry standards.”
Dumbaugh is a member of the ASIS Professional Development Council and is dedicated to helping others find their paths to a successful career. In March 2020, she will help lead ASIS’s review course for the new Associate Protection Professional (APP) certification—designed to be the first rung on a security manager’s career ladder.
Alongside her work with THG Consultants, she is a major in the U.S. Army Reserves, serving the Reserves—fittingly—as group physical security officer.
Profile by Steven Barnett, ASIS communications Specialist