Mt. Juliet police play host to Private Officer Memorial Service
Mt. Juliet police played host to the Private Officer Memorial Service on Wednesday night.
Private Officer International Nashville Chapter 301 held the service as a way to honor fallen private police and security officers who lost their lives in the line of duty.
“In the last year, we had 94 police officers die in the line of duty,” said chapter president Mike Thornhill, chief of security at Cumberland University. “We also had 110 security officers die.”
Several members of the police force, as well as the community, attended the event, which was held the Mt. Juliet Police Department for the second year in a row.
“[Mt. Juliet Police] Chief [James] Hambrick is also a member of our chapter, and we’re thankful to him for letting us use his facility,” said Thornhill. “[State Rep.] Mark Pody has always been a big supporter of ours and so has [state Rep.] Susan Lynn.”
Jacob Smith • email@example.com
SEP 21, 2017 AT 4:42 PM
From the corporate offices of Private Officer International, dozens of interviews are conducted with general reporters, investigative and research support staff and most major network and cable TV stations along with frequent requests for statistical data, comments or opinions on training, legislative actions, proposed laws or other information relating to private security, public safety, school security and related fields.
The Founder and CEO of our association, Mr. Rick McCann, often sheds light on the new frontier of the private security industry, the challenges of training, low wages and high turn-over rates, the true dangers of working many assignments alone, unarmed and unprepared while cheer-leading the efforts of many private officers who protect life and property while risking their own lives everyday.
Sometimes the media listens and sometimes they only hear and report a small portion of the interview, often twisting the facts to make the story shine a negative light on private security.
But that has never stopped Mr. McCann from continuing his crusade, sounding the alarm or telling the truth about the real life of private security officers in 2015.
Below is one of those positive stories that came out today in the Press Enterprise and written by a reporter in Riverside CA.
He listened and didn’t change the words, the facts or the direction of the interview with Mr. McCann and for that we applaud this reporter for reporting the truth.
Kyle. T Greene Sr. Vice President Private Officer International
Dangers of Security Profession Rising
Riverside CA – Security guards aren’t just retirees with tin badges and a walkie-talkie, or over-anxious rent-a-cops, as they often are portrayed in movies. The job can be dangerous – and even deadly, as evidenced by the shooting death of Richard “Big Will” Williamson, who was killed while working at a Grand Terrace skating rink early New Year’s morning.
Williamson, 48, of Riverside, the owner of Big Will’s Security Services, stepped in front of two young men who began firing as 200 skaters were ringing in the New Year. He fired back, was hit and later died.
Statistics from the California Association of Licensed Security Agencies, Guards and Associates show that on average, more than one security guard is killed each week in the United States, and many more are assaulted.
“It’s typically listed near the top of the list of most dangerous jobs,” said Jeff Flint, spokesman for the association. “Unfortunately, it can be very dangerous.”
Eleven American security guards have died on duty already this year, according to Private Officer International, which tracks those numbers.
The organization estimates that 85 security guards died on duty nationwide in 2014. That’s down from 112 in 2012 and compares with 121 sworn police officers who died in 2014, the Officer Down Memorial Page website states.
The number of job-related injuries also is on the rise for private guards, said Rick McCann, the organization’s CEO.
More than 200,000 guards were assaulted on the job last year. The most dangerous working spots are bars and restaurants that serve alcohol, the organization states.
McCann said California is one of the most dangerous states for privates guards – with three deaths already in 2015 – even though it has some of the most rigorous standards for licensing.
To be a security guard in California, an applicant must pass a federal and state background check, then complete 40 hours of training. Additional training is required to carry a baton, tear gas or gun.
Salaries range from $9.50 to $27 per hour, an Internet search shows.
Flint said the main duties of most security guards are to observe and report. They typically are employed at an office building or shopping center with a primary responsibility to protect property.
While only about 10 percent of the private guards in the state are licensed to carry firearms, Flint said, just the presence of a uniformed security guard often is enough to scare away people who are up to no good.
“Their primary duty is to be a visible deterrent and report on activities they observe,” Flint said.
California’s security guards do not have the power to arrest or detain anyone, but they can make a citizen’s arrest, Flint said.
As municipalities have cut their police department budgets in recent years, more businesses are hiring private security firms to guard their properties, he said.
For example, in once-sleepy Hemet, guards now patrol almost every shopping center and strip mall.
“There’s definitely an increase in demand,” Flint said.
McCann said guards also are being asked to do more on the job.
“A lot more businesses are hiring security not to just to observe and report, but to be enforcers, proactive,” he said. “It is a dangerous environment.”
McCann said Williamson should be honored for his action to prevent more injuries the night he was killed.
“He’s really a hero because he was involved in an active gun battle,” McCann said.
CHARLOTTE NC JUNE 5 2012 — A private security guard was shot and killed trying to break up a fight outside an East Charlotte restaurant. It happened around closing time, early Tuesday morning at El Paisano restaurant on Albemarle Road. Richard Snyder, 50, died on scene.
“He was just trying to disperse everyone and make sure they got off the property. Just dissolve the disturbance. Unfortunately, he was shot and died,” said CMPD Captain Chuck Henson.
It’s another example of what some are calling a disturbing trend nationally, attacks on security personnel.
“What we’re finding is a lot more security officers are getting involved. They’re being asked to do a lot more,” said CEO of Police Officer International Rick McCann.
McCann says more businesses are hiring their own security.
“A lot of companies, like restaurants and bars, hire their own in-house staff,” said McCann.
“Basically they’re there to keep the peace, break up fights, but they’re not as trained as a
uniformed guard might have been from a security agency.”
According to Private Officer International, 37,000 security guards/bouncers were attacked in 2011. There were 13,700 injuries and at least 114 security guards were killed on the job.
McCann would like to see more officers and bouncers get better training. “The training
requirements needs to be stepped up in most cases,” he said.
CMPD is looking for two men who drove off in a green, two-door truck, possibly a Chevy.
Cumberland University Employees win prestigious awards
Private Officer International announced on June 24 that two employees of Cumberland University in Lebanon TN. were among the award recipients during the 2013 Private Officer Awards ceremony held in Charlotte NC.
Mr. Joe Gray, the Executive Director of Campus Facilities and Safety received the Directors Award for his outstanding leadership in the development of security protocols and procedures on campus as well as his involvement and continued support of security officer training and the safety of students, staff and visitors to the campus. Mr. Gray was also recognized for his personal involvement with the Nashville regional private security and law enforcement chapter of Private Officer International.
Mr. Michael Thornhill is with Citadel Security Services and serves as Director of Campus Security. He received a Directors Award for being instrumental in the development of professional standards for security on campus and for his key role in being a founding member of the Nashville regional private security and law enforcement chapter of Private Officer International. Mike is an 18 year veteran of private security and was the recipient of the 2012 Private Officer International Founder’s Award.
The Directors Award is awarded annually by the Board of Directors of Private Officer International to those employed in or otherwise advancing the private security and public safety industry through their leadership, support and overall involvement in protecting life and property.
About Us Private Officer International
Private Officer International is a private security-police member based association, national training school, media and news source and statistical data clearinghouse.
POI also offers regional chapters, officer assistance, and award, counseling and mentoring programs.
Private Officer International employs a full time news staff, 24hr help desk, and offers weekly industry radio shows, digital magazines, breaking news alerts and a new professionally produced TV program!
Our sister company, Armour College is an accredited, unique, public safety curriculum on-line and campus based public safety college.
LEBANON DEMOCRAT NEWSPAPER Lebanon TN.
December 1 2012
Cumberland’s head of security is making a name for himself in the security industry.
Private Officer International, an organization serving the private security community and law enforcement, recently awarded Mike Thornhill the organization’s 2012 Founders Award for his work toward growing the organization in Tennessee.
Thornhill, director of security for Cumberland University, helped found the Nashville chapter of POI in April. There are now 30 members of the chapter, and the chapter actively reaches out to members and potential members through social media.
Thornhill discovered POI when he decided to advance his skill set.
“I was hungry for more training,” said Thornhill.
While investigating resources on the Internet, Thornhill discovered POI and began listening to radio broadcasts by the organization’s founder, Rick McCann.
The organization fit Thornhill’s needs, so he joined and soon became a lifetime member.
To Thornhill, the training offered by POI is a key benefit of the organization.
“In the state of Tennessee, to be an unarmed security officer, all you have to do is have 8 hours of training,” said Thornhill. “A police officer goes through about 400-plus.”
POI helps fill that gap by offering training and seminars for members.
“Every other month, we have a guest speaker,” said Thornhill. “The months we don’t have a guest speaker, we have training.”
Training offered has included active shooter, report writing and laws.
“(Security officers) need to know the legalities, because if they don’t approach the situation in the right manner, they can be arrested for breaking the law, just like anybody else,” said Thornhill.
Additionally, security officers face safety hazards. This year alone, 98 security officers have been killed in the US, according to Thornhill. POI also offers assistance to families of security officers and law enforcement officers killed or injured on the job.
“It doesn’t matter if they’re a member of our organization or not,” said Thornhill. “I just want security officers to know that we’re here for them.”
For more information about POI, call 615-839-4278 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mall cops: Alleged kidnapper escorted, not reported
By Lisa Provence | email@example.com Published online 2:11pm Tuesday Nov 27th, 2012
In print issue #1148 dated Thursday Nov 29th, 2012
That a two-year-old child may have been briefly kidnapped by a stranger at a shopping mall is shocking enough. That police weren’t notified until six hours after the private security force at Charlottesville Fashion Square escorted the man from the property has created a firestorm.
The public first learned of the Saturday, November 24, alleged attempted abduction the following afternoon when Albemarle County police issued a press release seeking help in finding a light-skinned, glasses-wearing black male approximately 6’3″ tall and weighing between 220 and 235 pounds.
According to the release, the two-year-old girl was walking with her parents near Kay Jewelers between 2pm and 2:30pm when the suspect picked up the child from behind. Her father ran after the man, who released the toddler.
“The suspect did not get far with the child,” says Albemarle police spokesperson Carter Johnson, noting that any time a stranger puts hands on and picks up a child, that’s an attempted abduction. “That is a felony offense.”
What’s creating discomfort among parents and outrage in online forums is that Fashion Square security removed the suspect from the property without getting a name– or contacting police.
“That’s a difficult one,” says Johnson. “We work with security. Normally, they would hold the suspect, and we would make the arrest.”
The girl’s parents contacted police around 8pm that evening, says Johnson.
Simon Properties, which owns Fashion Square, is mum about why its security contractor did not call police.
“This incident is now a police matter and, of course, we are fully cooperating with their investigation,” says Simon spokesman Les Morris in a statement released November 26, two days after the event. “Every piece of information that we have in our possession as well as witness reports have been turned over to the police for their follow-up.”
“It’s very bizarre to escort someone from the property and not notify police,” notes Rick McCann, the CEO of Private Officer International, a security and law enforcement training association. “It’s required by law because it’s a felony.”
McCann says he can conceive of only two scenarios under which law enforcement shouldn’t be called: that a company policy forbade it or that the security guard was threatened with a weapon. More likely, he asserts, it was a bad judgment call along with a shockingly low training threshold for private security guards.
He points out that in Virginia, unarmed guards are required to garner just 24 hours of training in order to have authority to arrest someone on private property and transport a suspect to the nearest magistrate. For armed security, the level is 40 hours, and that also seems too low to McCann.
“It’s troubling,” he says.
“The mall is a city within a city,” continues McCann. “If a suspicious person is reported, mall security is dispatched.” If shoplifting or trespassing or a fight occur, that also falls into the hands of mall security. Says McCann: “That’s a lot of responsibility for 24 hours of training.”
The expert expresses little surprise that Simon Properties and its security contractor, Pennsylvania-based AlliedBarton, which employs more than 55,000 people, are not releasing more information.
“The bottom line is liability because they could be sued by the parents,” says McCann. “They had a duty to act.”
This would not be the first uncomfortable incident at the mall. Two years ago, Fashion Square officials shut it down for an hour after an alleged brawl and subsequently issued a statement pointing to public buses as the means by which youthful participants had arrived.
In the more recent case, police are reviewing surveillance video in hopes of identifying the alleged abductor, says the police spokesperson.
“If we found him, we’d release it because we want to identify the suspect,” says Johnson, who declines to comment on online chatter about the man’s mental health.
“We want to use this to make the public more aware and alert during the holiday season when the stores are crowded,” says Johnson. “Keep your packages together, and keep your children with you.”
Posted: Monday, November 26, 2012 10:23 pm | Updated: 11:30 pm, Mon Nov 26, 2012. K. Burnell Evans
ATTEMPTED CHILD ABDUCTION
Albemarle County VA
Private security did its job over the weekend in escorting a man off Fashion Square mall property where he grabbed a 2-year-old girl before her father wrestled her away, legal experts and industry analysts said Monday. But that doesn’t explain why authorities weren’t notified until more than five hours later, when the girl’s parents called police. By then, the man was long gone.
Now, authorities are urging parents to be on heightened alert as investigators seek clues with little to go on but a vague description of a light-skinned black man standing 6 feet, 3 inches tall and weighing 220 to 235 pounds. He wore glasses and a gray hooded sweatshirt.
“We want everyone to be a little more aware and a little more cautious and vigilant over their children,” said Albemarle County police spokeswoman Carter Johnson.
Security officers responded to the parents’ cries between 2 and 2:30 p.m. Saturday near Kay Jewelers, where the man seized the child as she walked slightly behind her parents. The girl’s father pulled her from the stranger’s grasp. Security officers gained control of the man, then released him, police said.
Authorities learned of the incident when the parents called at 8 p.m., police said. Neither the private firm tasked with providing security at the mall nor the mall’s management company, Simon Property Group, notified police, Johnson said. “Obviously, we would have liked to be contacted immediately,” Johnson said.
Angry customers took to Fashion Square’s Facebook page to protest a two-line release issued Monday by Indiana-based Simon, which bills itself as the largest real estate company in the world. “This incident is now a police matter and, of course, we are fully cooperating with their investigation,” said Simon spokesman Les Morris. “Every piece of information that we have in our possession as well as witness reports have been turned over to the police for their follow-up.” The company did not elaborate.
Security guards observed Sunday at the mall wore uniforms bearing the logo of AlliedBarton Security Services, a Pittsburgh-area private security giant that employs more than 55,000 people nationwide, according to its website. “We are currently cooperating with the police during the investigation and have no further comment,” said AlliedBarton Vice President Alan Stein.
The primary duty of private security officers responding in an incident like Saturday’s is to safeguard the people involved, then to protect their clients’ interests, analysts and legal experts said. “We have to kind of break out the part we’re upset from, that they let the guy go, from the thing that would have actually caused harm to the child, the guy that they removed from the situation,” said Charlottesville-Albemarle Bar Association President J. Lloyd Snook III. “It’s a question of moral responsibility versus legal liability.”
As unarmed officers, the guards at Fashion Square lack the limited powers of arrest that armed security officers possess, said Neadie Moore, licensing manager at the Department of Criminal Justice Services, the state agency charged with regulating private sector security workers,
State code requires unarmed guards to complete 18 hours of training and undergo a criminal background check before they are certified.
Armed guards undergo 40 to 42 hours of training. Shoppers should have a reasonable expectation of safety while they are on mall property — that is why the guards are there, Snook said.
But conflict between company and client policies can be burdensome to contracted security officers facing snap decisions, said Rick McCann, a 38-year law enforcement veteran and founder of Private Officer International, an industry association. “The directions [officers] get can be conflicting, and that’s why it’s so important for the security company and the other company to be prudent in their requirements of the officer,” McCann said. An untrained or undertrained guard could be cowed by the very real danger and responsibilities they face, he said. Many guards also fear liability, he added. For instance, could they be sued if they acted to restrain someone without the powers and authority accorded to an armed guard? “As a guard, you hear a lot about these [lawsuits] and the word gets around,” McCann said. “Still, I am a little bit shocked to hear that [the security officers] let the person go.”
The characteristics of the incident — occurring in the middle of the day in a public place during one of the busiest shopping days of the year — suggest the man might have done something like this before and might try again, said Dr. Jeffrey Fracher, a forensic psychologist practicing in Albemarle. “The fact that they were thwarted means they are going to be unsatisfied,” Fracher said. “These are the situations that keep me up at night.”
No security cameras captured footage of the incident, Johnson said. Detectives are combing through in-store surveillance footage to see whether the man had been following the family. So far, Johnson said, police have no leads.