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A window on security.

SECURITY TRAINING COMES IN many forms -- classroom lectures, hands-on exercises, books, films, and videos. One video-based source of training is the Professional Security Television Network (PSTN), unveiled last September at the 36th Annual ASIS Seminar and Exhibits in San Francisco.

The network was created by Westcott Communications Inc., which designs business television services, and was a logical outgrowth of Westcott's two other professional television networks -- the Automotive Satellite Television Network (ASTN) and the Law Enforcement Television Network (LETN).

To date, ASTN boasts 4,700 subscribers and a viewing audience of 150,000. LETN has 2,050 subscribers and an audience of more than 50,000. Both are satellite networks, with ASTN broadcasting every business day and LETN on the air 24 hours a day, five days a week.

Each network airs practical, informative, industry-specific shows. For example, ASTN hired motivational speaker Zig Ziglar for a day. The network taped Ziglar for hours and then used the footage to make several motivational programs for automotive sales personnel.

LETN programs are equally specific. One show demonstrated how to reload a gun in six seconds using only one hand -- a necessary skill for a law enforcement officer shot in one arm.

PSTN, Westcott's newest addition, began reaching subscribers in April. The network's goal is to offer a wide range of programs on all aspects of security. Regularly scheduled television programs delivered to subscribers on videotape each month provide basic training for both proprietary and contract security officers; in-service training for security officers, supervisors, and specialists; and security-related information for security directors and managers.

An annual subscription to PSTN is $1,440, which is paid in advance when a subscriber signs up for the network. That fee includes instructors' materials, such as workbooks and tests for use in training classes. PSTN provides subscribers with a program guide, course materials, and videocassettes with the following programs each month:

* a 25-minute segment of ProForce, aimed at security officers

* a 25-minute Security Focus episode for security supervisors and specialists

* a 10-minute Security Works program for security managers

Subscribers also receive a one-time, six-hour Basic Security Officer Training Series, complete with course materials, when they sign up for PSTN.

ProForce covers such topics as patrol procedures, report writing, the legal authority of a security officer, and properly dealing with the public. One episode, for example, consists of a detailed walk-through of a watch clock tour, including a discussion of patrol objectives, effective touring techniques, and detailed instructions on operating watch clocks.

Security Focus explores the range of topics included in managing a comprehensive security program, such as security officer operations, computer security, electronic security, and investigations.

Security Works offers features on security trends, issues, and equipment. It also spotlights security initiatives in specific industries and companies. The episodes of each program are new every month.

As for the future, the network wants to balance its goals with viewers' needs. PSTN has already made major format adjustments to accommodate security departments' scheduling and equipment problems. For example, when satellite programming proved unfeasible due to security shift scheduling and the logistics of setting up satellite equipment, the network decided instead to mail videotapes to subscribers monthly.

As far as William Jackson, vice president and general manager of PSTN, is concerned, the more people coming to work to watch TV, the better. He explains, "I hope security practitioners come to view PSTN as an indispensible window on the rest of the profession. We want to be an important part of their information network."

Kimberly A. Haines is former staff editor of Security Management.
COPYRIGHT 1991 American Society for Industrial Security
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1991 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:video-based training for security personnel
Author:Haines, Kimberly A.
Publication:Security Management
Date:May 1, 1991
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