Private security as an essential component of homeland security
Hetherington, Christopher John
Pelfrey, William V.
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This thesis argues that first preventers are not limited to law enforcement and/or intelligence personnel. Private security officers are our true first preventers because they control access to the myriad of facilities we enter and exit every day. They are the individuals with their boots on the ground in our efforts to recognize abnormal or unusual activity. Based on the observation by President George W. Bush in the National Strategy for Homeland Security that 85% of the nation's critical infrastructure is owned by private agencies and organizations, one conclusion is incontrovertible: No one is in a better position to be a first preventer than the private security officer in America. In New York State, a professionally trained and licensed security officer's primary directive is defined as detecting, deterring and reporting on conditions which might harm life or property. It is incumbent upon government public security officials, and private security executives themselves, to cultivate and exploit this undervalued segment of our efforts to combat terrorism on a national basis. In order to do so, and to assure the public of the competency of the private security workforce, it is imperative that private security officers be mandated to meet minimum standards. Therefore, this thesis makes the argument that advocating nationwide, state controlled licensing and training of private security officers is essential to the efforts of the Department of Homeland Security to employ 'First Responder' and 'First Preventer' strategies in the war on terrorism.
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