Little Rock Job Corps’ Security and Safety Officer Program Spotlight

Little Rock’s highly successful career training program is producing Certified Protection Officers (CPOs) ready for today’s workforce.

Little Rock Job Corps’ Security and Safety Officer Program

Security and Safety Officer Program

In June 2009, Little Rock Job Corps saw a need to begin a new program at their center, and Thelma Dixon filled it.  After 22 years in the United States Army and teaching in the Army ROTC program in a Macon, Georgia high school, Ms. Dixon needed a change.  The new Security and Safety Officer Program at Little Rock Job Corps was the answer.  As the instructor of this program, her job is to prepare young students for a successful career as a security officer or as an employee of the Arkansas Department of Corrections.

Inception

Since the program’s inception in 2009, it has become a top performer in its trade: most students already have security jobs lined up when they complete the program.  “It is a blessing to be able to get students in jobs before they even leave the program,” Dixon states.  “Companies say my students come in ready to go.  They do not need additional training before beginning the job,” she continued.  This success is due to the competitive program Thelma Dixon runs.  She must produce at least 3 completers a month.  The program typically takes 4-6 months to complete, and students must finish 2 lessons a week to stay on track.

Thelma combines visuals, such as presentations and notes from professionals in the security field, with independent study and lecture from the International Foundation of Protection Officers’ (IFPO) Professional Protection Officer Training Manual (8th Edition).  Students then take the online Certified Protection Officer (CPO) Certification Exam offered through High Impact Training Solutions (HITS). Successful candidates are then certified through the IFPO.   Throughout the program, students also get hands-on training with the use of “mock crime scenes” and practice writing incident reports.  “The curriculum is in line with the test, and both do an excellent job of preparing the students for the job,” Dixon states.

Expectations … Success

Another aspect of the program that helps produce quality students is the level of professionalism expected by Thelma.  Students must wear uniforms to class each day and must keep a neat appearance and haircut.  This professionalism is evident to the public as well.  “When we help in the community, most people think my students are already security officers,” states Dixon.

The success of Ms. Dixon’s program is evident in the achievements of her former students.  Many are frequently recognized in company newsletters for their accomplishments and are continuing to move up the chain of success.  One such example is Thomas Steadman, a former student now employed by Central Defense.  “The Job Corps program has been a blessing to me.  It took me to a higher level in my field,” Thomas states.  Not only does this program prepare students for a job, it also prepares them for life.  “It teaches you responsibility, dependability, and reliability,” said Steadman.  Thomas also praises Thelma Dixon for his success.  “She is a great instructor.  You really grasp what she is saying.  She does her job and prepares you for a career,” he states.

About

Job Corps is an educational and vocational program administered by the U.S. Department of Labor that prepares at-risk students for successful careers.  Thelma Dixon is definitely doing just that.  Through her classroom and practical based learning experiences, students are leaving her program prepared for today’s workforce.

Posted in Press Releases at October 9th, 2014. .

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Posted in Resources at October 8th, 2014. .

July is Disaster Education and Awareness Month

HITS_emergency-checklist_123rf_100x66This month, High Impact Training Solutions joins with the voices of those from the Red Cross and Ready.gov to promote an awareness of disaster education and preparedness.

 
Preparing for disasters just makes good sense. People spend time preparing for vacations, for holidays, and for tax season. But somehow preparations for disasters are often overlooked or go unfinished.  July is the month to be reminded to see those preparations through. The simple steps of having a plan, a few supplies, and some information can make all the difference in a calamity.

Expect to Manage on Your Own

In disaster situations, emergency responders and communications systems are often overwhelmed. Disaster preparations can make it possible to cope until help arrives – even if that is much longer than would usually be expected for a 9-1-1 response.  And, during an emergency, the intensity of the situation can easily rob a mind of any sketchy memories of a blog post about disaster preparedness. What is needed at that time is the muscle memory of a well-rehearsed plan.

Start Where You Are

HITS_evac-route_123rfBegin by focusing on typical disasters for your geographical area. The Red Cross provides educational resources for dealing with disasters in a myriad of categories:  chemical emergency, drought, earthquake, fire, flood, flu, food safety, heat wave, highway safety, hurricane, landslide, pet safety, poisoning, power outage, terrorism, thunderstorm, tornado, tsunami, volcano, water safety, wildfire, or winter storm.  Start with the ones most likely to be experienced where you live and prepare for those.

Make a plan

Address the timeline:  Know what to do before, during, and after each kind of potential disaster that is common in your area.

Try it out:  There are only two ways to test a plan of this kind: Go through a disaster or practice one.  A simple ‘run through’ can make a world of difference.

Discuss Communications:  Clarify with all involved in the family, school, or work location what to do if a simple phone call is no longer an option (for example, text messaging will often stay available even when land lines and mobile lines are overwhelmed).

Ask questions: Brainstorm and address questions, such as ‘Where will we meet if we have to split up and evacuate?,’  ‘Can we use someone out of state as a point of contact if that becomes necessary?,’  and ‘Who will need medications?’

Get a Kit

HITS_emergency-checklist_123rf
Gather supplies: Add a few items at a time and keep them in a central location with a checklist.

Maintain the kit: Replace perishable items according to recommendations and keep medical records up-to-date and available there.

Be Informed

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Get the alerts: Cell phone providers are moving towards Emergency Alert applications, so that information regarding major disasters can be quickly communicated to customers in affected regions. Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs) are emergency messages sent by authorized government alerting authorities through your mobile carrier (See Ready.gov/alerts). Other sources include NOAA Weather Radio, news broadcasts, the Emergency Alert System on radio and TV programs, outdoor sirens, and other alerting methods offered by local and state public safety agencies.

Try the Apps: Hundreds of emergency related apps are now in existence for mobile users. The Red Cross offers many apps that will help both in an emergency and prior to one.

Acquire Training: Education in this area is rapidly becoming more available with online courses; our spotlighted course Crisis Management Course course discusses how protection officers can best manage crisis situations. Topics include introduction to crisis management, dynamics of a disaster, bomb incidents, psychological first aid, working with the media, and crime scene management.  Typically a learner will complete this course in 2.5 – 4 hours.

For those in the security and protection officer industries, High Impact Training Solutions offers a full Homeland Security Course with 8 informative modules:

Get Started Today!
Posted in Security at July 23rd, 2014. .

High Impact Training Solutions Releases New Officer Health and Fitness Courses

New Courses Provide Stress Management and Reduction Techniques in Order to Help Public Safety Personnel Maintain Psychological Well-Being and Improve Job Performance

PENSACOLA, Fla., July 14, 2014 /PRNewswire-iReach/ — High Impact Training Solutions (HITS), a division of Smart Horizons, announces the release of its new Officer Health and Fitness courses. Maintaining psychological well-being, good physical fitness, and sound health is important to public safety professionals, law enforcement, and security personnel. These new courses will help participants develop an understanding of these principles, as well as provide stress management and reduction techniques in order to improve job performance.

Security professionals and public safety dispatchers represent a growing body of professionals who are at high-risk for developing posttraumatic stress syndrome (PTSD). These professionals are exposed to a constant stream of crises and thrust daily into high-stress, dangerous environments. “In order to ensure the mental health of these individuals, training and psychological support are key in helping them deal with the effects and traumatic exposure that they experience on a daily basis,” stated Mark Tibbert, Director of High Impact Training Solutions. He added, “We are excited about the release of these new courses that provide instruction in principles and techniques that are essential in helping these professionals manage the stresses they encounter while on the job. HITS remains committed to offering quality online training to meet the needs of the public safety industry.”

The new Health and Fitness Series includes two popular courses previously offered only within the First Responder Training Network. Stress Management is a 1 hour course while Officer Health, Fitness, and Well-Being is 2 hours. These online courses allow participants to complete the training at their own pace and in their own time-frame, as they are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

Posted in Press Releases at July 14th, 2014. .

Community Service Organizations and Security

Community Service Organizations

Community service organizations such as Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Boy & Girls Clubs, YMCAs, Senior Centers, and recreational facilities are typically welcoming places; however, the same welcoming environment that enables these community service organizations to accomplish their missions, may be placing them in jeopardy.
Community service organizations may not have the resources to provide full-time Security Officers. In fact, many community service organizations rarely have the resources to accomplish their basic mission. Yet, how much is spent remediating vandalism, malicious damage, and theft?

Developing a Risk Management Strategy

The fact is that a surprising number of community organizations do not know where to start. Close the windows, lock the door, and turn on the alarm is the extent of the security plan.

There are four functions of a risk management strategy:

  • Identification of potential threats: A PEEST Analysis (it has nothing to do with insects) will help identify potential threats.
  • Evaluate the level of risk from these identified threats: Risks can be evaluated using a risk matrix. The matrix helps visualize the various risk levels.
  • Assess the vulnerability of critical assets to these threats: A vulnerability checklist is useful to identify vulnerabilities to the community service organization.
  • Propose ways of mitigating risk and prioritize risk reduction measures.

Think About

  • Interviewing employees
  • Conducting a survey of the site and building structure
  • Reviewing the current security manual

Interviews

When interviewing staff, include all staff – from volunteers and maintenance personnel to child care workers and administration. The result will be a more comprehensive assessment. The vulnerability assessment will also include recommendations for fixing security issues. Including a proposed budget for the costs helps to prioritize implementation of these fixes.

Manage the Risk

Risk management balances the cost of mitigating risk versus the cost of potential damage to the community service organization. Risk mitigation measures are physical, technical, procedural, or compliance-based controls. Risks are mitigated through these control measures, and frequently security is implemented through a series of controls known as defense in depth.

Physical Security

Let’s look at the physical security of a community service organization a little closer. Through the interview process, certain individuals, or positions, will clearly have a broad knowledge of common everyday activities. These key individuals have a unique high-level view of what is ‘normal.’ Key individuals may include facility maintenance personnel whose work places them in all parts of the building or the groundskeeping staff members who view everyday activities from the outside.

Staff Training

Once the security plan has been developed, do not forget about training. The entire community service organization should receive general training regarding the overall plan. Individuals should receive specific training regarding their individual roles within the Security Management Plan.

Providing key personnel with basic security training will help improve the organization’s security posture simply through their observations and reports. These individuals are already ‘out and about’ the organization. With a small amount of training they become remote security sensors. They are trained to be aware of the significance of a window that was not broken yesterday, a blocked emergency exit, or an unusual individual in a part of the building they should not be in. Awareness enables key individuals to understand the significance of what they are observing, and report to leadership.

Depending on the organization’s security plan, training can run from simple awareness training to a few hours of entry level training all the way to Certified Protection Officer training. Online training has quickly become the preferred training method. With online training the student progresses at their own pace, the training is generally available ‘anytime, anywhere’ and everyone receives the same consistent training. There is no variation as happens can with traditional classroom instruction.

 

Entry Level Protection Officer
$29
  • Online
  • 24/7 Availability
  • Collateral Security Personnel
  • Full-time Security Pre-employment
  • Certification Available
  • ELPO

Basic Protection Officer
$98
  • Online
  • 24/7 Availability
  • Full-time Security Initial Training
  • Collateral Security Supervisors
  • Certification Available
  • BPO

Certified Protection Officer
$350
  • Online
  • 24/7 Availability
  • Full-time Security Personnel
  • Security Management Personnel
  • Certification Available*
  • CPO

 * Certification awarded by the International Foundation for Protection Officers (IFPO) upon completion of the proctored Certified Protection Officer Certification Examination. The Certification Examination is included in the price quoted.

 

Online Security Training
High Impact Training Solutions offers a full range of online security training, from entry level to Certified Protection Officer training, as well as professional development topics, such as physical security protection, retail loss prevention, and public events security. Courses are available individually to security professionals or as part of a customized online professional development library. Contact us today for additional information.

Posted in Security at May 28th, 2014. .

Training: Five Important Numbers

The folks over at School Training Solutions posted an interesting infographic on the Business of Training.

Five Important Numbers

    • Training is a $130 billion Industry
    • Travel costs account for $52 billion (40%)
    • 22 million students have taken an online course
    • 63% Institutions believe online learning is critical to their long term strategy
    • 82% of trainees prefer training webinars

View Infographic

Training: The Future of Online Learning

According to one survey, 50% of all Americans will be enrolled in online learning within the next 5 years. We can help develop a cost effective professional development library designed specifically for your needs. Contact us today for additional information.


Online Security Training
High Impact Training Solutions offers online Certified Protection Officer training as well as professional development topics such as physical security protection, retail loss prevention, and public events security. Courses are available individually to security professionals or as part of a customized online professional development library. Contact us today for additional information.
Posted in Resources, Security at April 1st, 2014. .

Crisis Communications

During a Critical Incident, Security Professionals Often Become the Public Face of an Organization

In the first moments of a critical incident, security officers can initially become the “out front” people for the company.

Crisis Communications: Are you Prepared?

Only 7–10% of all communications are verbal and more than 85% of all communications are nonverbal in nature. Nonverbal communication is the subtle (or obvious) body movements and gestures that communicate messages without words.  The security professional’s small body movements, as seen by the general public, become the organization’s message.

male-silhouette-123
female-silhouette-123

Emergency Management Programs

Any emergency management plan should discuss Crisis Communications and Public Information.  Crisis Communications and Public Information impact and become a part of the security professional’s response and responsibilities. Developing a response plan includes four phases:

    • Planning
    • Training
    • Reviewing
    • Testing
IFPO
The phases are circular in nature. When security professionals review the phases, crisis communications and the public information impact should be considered. The International Foundation for Protection Officers (IFPO) sponsors the Certified Protection Officer (CPO) Program and The Professional Protection Officer as resources to develop plans.
CPO_twitter_logo
Professional-Protection-Officer-80w

Critical Incident Scenario

In any critical incident there may come a need for security personnel to communicate with:

    • Victims and their families
    • Other affected people, such as employees or bystanders whose normal routine are interrupted
    • Media
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For instance, a tower type office building may have security acting as access control. An employee or casual visitor with a medical emergency may disrupt normal access procedures. In addition to reporting the medical emergency, security personnel may also be called upon to:

    • Render first aid until relieved by Emergency Medical Services
    • Maintain a perimeter to permit first responders to perform their actions
    • Establish alternative access flow to maintain business operations or recovery actions

It is easy to see how each of these actions can bring the security professional into a sensitive encounter. The security professional’s crisis communication skills, verbal as well as nonverbal, will directly impact whether the organization is successful in handling a critical incident.

The Security Officer as Public Speaker

While interacting with the public, the security officer effectively becomes a public speaker. This infographic from Entrepreneur provides 10 Body Language Tips Every Speaker Must Know. Although the infographic is geared toward presentations, most of the tips are effective for anyone who may find themselves thrust into a public speaking situation, such as directing normal visitor flow towards a temporary access/exit point.

By incorporating public information strategies into emergency response plans, the security department prepares security professionals before a critical incident occurs. For once an incident occurs, the security officer can be thrust “out front” for some period of time, and therefore should be knowledgeable of public relations policies and procedures.

Ad-hoc Media Queries

When faced with ad-hoc media queries, the security officer should be well-versed in the organization’s policies regarding media access. The Professional Protection Officer recommends the security officer:

    • Use their very best public relations skills.
    • Be polite, and give the media the number to reach the public information officer (PIO).
    • If they press for a statement, be polite and continue to refer them to the PIO.
    • If the PIO is on site, direct them or take them to the PIO.
    • If they press further, call in a supervisor, who will repeat the above.
    • NEVER be discourteous.
    • NEVER say, “No comment!”
    • NEVER, NEVER, NEVER give an interview!

Finally, under no circumstances should perimeter access control be relaxed to accommodate the media.


Online Security Training

High Impact Training Solutions offers online Certified Protection Officer training as well as professional development topics such as physical security protection, retail loss prevention, and public events security. Courses are available individually to security professionals or as part of a customized online training library.

Posted in Security at December 31st, 2013. .

How Do I Enroll in a Course

… or, why can’t I find my training?

?

When training subscriptions have one or more courses included, or you recently purchased a new subscription, you may need to enroll in the course first.

Start Tutorial

This tutorial will step you through self-enrolling in your training content.

Note Training organizations can enable, or disable, basic functionality depending on the organizations training needs. This may result in your screen appearing slightly different than the example screens. Blue boxes provide additional information

Action Click on each vertical tab to self-enroll in a course. Orange boxes will provide actions for you to take.

Click

Click on the Find More Training Tab

When first logged into the training portal, typically you will be on the Enrollments tab of the My Training page.

Clicking on the Find More Training tab will display course titles available to you.

Action Click the Find More Training tab.

Navigate

Your training will be located in one, or more, folder(s). Each folder may in turn have one or more subfolders.

Action Take a moment to explore your training library.

Review

It is not uncommon for a course to have a number of modules or units.

In the example course, you will notice a number of topics followed by a Post Test. Clicking on these links will display additional information, and allow enrollment.

Action Click on a link to view the additional information.

Enroll

Enroll in a Course

The course description provides information regarding the selected module or unit.

The tabs above the course description allow quick access to other portions of your training library.

Action Optional: Click the Enroll button to enable a module or unit.

Verify

Verify enrollment

A green confirmation message is displayed once a course has been enrolled.

The course is now visible, and available to be launched (or started) on the initial Enrollments tab.

Action Click on the Enrollments tab to view all currently enrolled courses.

Launch

Launch your course

The Enrollments tab now displays the newly enrolled course.

Clicking on the course title will launch, or start, the course.

Posted in FAQ, Learner Questions at October 30th, 2013. .

Telecommunicator Training Receives POST Approval

HITS Telecommunicator Training

The Nevada Commission on Peace Officers’ Standards and Training (POST) has approved online Telecommunicator courses offered through High Impact Training Solutions (HITS) for POST continuing education training requirements. Law enforcement personnel in states with a Nevada reciprocal training agreement are also eligible.

POST continuing education credit is available for the Telecommunicator Basic and Refresher courses, as well as the Communications Center Supervisor course.

 

Read the press release.
Posted in Telecom at October 24th, 2013. .

High Impact Training Solutions’ Telecommunicator Training Now POST-Certified

Law Enforcement Professionals in Nevada or Reciprocal States May Now Take HITS Online Courses for POST Certification Credit

The Nevada Commission on Peace Officers’ Standards and Training (POST) has approved online Telecommunicator courses offered through High Impact Training Solutions (HITS) for POST continuing education training requirements. Law enforcement personnel in states with a Nevada reciprocal training agreement are also eligible. POST continuing education credit is available for the Telecommunicator Basic and Refresher courses, as well as the Communications Center Supervisor course.

HITS is a division of Smart Horizons, an online training provider and curriculum development company that developed the POST-certified training to the standards set by APCO Project 33, which defines the training requirements for public safety telecommunicators.   Sworn officers must obtain 24 professional development credits in a 24 month period, and these courses will assist officers in achieving their goal.  Reserve officers will also benefit, as it will help them fulfill their job training requirements and enhance their professional skills.

“This certification recognizes the high standards of our programs, and we are proud to display our commitment to providing quality online training to public safety professionals,” stated Mark Tibbert, Director of High Impact Training Solutions.  He added, “We are very excited about the POST-certification and look forward to enabling other states to take advantage of this program.”

POST is regulated at the state level and is responsible for the licensure of peace officers.  In addition, POST develops and enforces standards and training for law enforcement professionals.  HITS’ online Telecommunicator training is the perfect solution for meeting these standards, as it is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, allowing individuals to train when it is most convenient for them.

Posted in Press Releases at October 24th, 2013. .
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