Protection Officer Training Manual Fifth Edition.
What is exciting about the manual is its attention to subjects not previously offered to security officers in chapters devoted to health and fitness, hazardous materials, and substance abuse. These subjects definitely need to be covered in books for security officers. Considering an officer's environment with shift work, overtime, incident response, and emergency management, these chapters are as important to an officer as a two-way radio and a flashlight.
One problem with the manual is that its content quality is inconsistent. Well-written chapters, such as those described above, and others discussing explosives, traffic control, and computer security, offer sound technical information and are written so that entry-level officers and supervisors will immediately understand what the author is trying to convey. However, other sections fall short of giving officers the latest information.
Readers will enjoy the chapter on health, fitness, and exercise. Unique material is provided in the form of tips for starting a fitness program, measuring cardiovascular fitness, and debunking exercise myths.
The author of the section on bomb threats and searches discusses explosive devices in an interesting manner. This author obviously enjoys his work and can discuss explosives and search procedures in layperson's terms. The bomb threat report form he includes is as good as the one offered by the FBI.
Other chapters, such as those on computer security, basic alarm systems, emergency planning, and first aid, offer security officers basic knowledge in specialty fields. Each author provides technical information in an easy-to-understand format.
In the chapters on fire prevention, terrorism, executive protection, and interviewing techniques, however, the book branches from a quality training manual to a manuscript that needs work. While most of the information on fire prevention is factual, the section on fire extinguisher classifications needs additional research.
The chapter on substance abuse also needs work. Although the author provides basic subject content, he fails to introduce the AIDS virus as a serious health hazard when drug users share needles.
The fragmented style established to include regulations for both the United States and Canada is irritating. This problem could be alleviated by offering a US version for sections dealing with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations and labor relations.
The editor is on the right track to developing a useful training manual, but improvements are needed.
Reviewer: Thomas M. Frank, CPP, is supervisor of security administration for Tribune Properties Inc. in Chicago. He is a member of ASIS.