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


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
  • Online
  • 24/7 Availability
  • Collateral Security Personnel
  • Full-time Security Pre-employment
  • Certification Available
  • ELPO

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

Certified Protection Officer
  • 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 by sonictemple at May 28th, 2014.
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