By Peter Bolt
Security Consultants are professionals proficient in security functions, risk assessments and related industry projects and managerial consulting. They fulfill a need requiring knowledge and competency unfulfilled by law enforcement which often times are understaffed, overworked and sometimes lack the private sector acumen to advise and function effectively as security consultants. These consultants are required depending on their specific function to act as liaisons between their private sector clients and law enforcement personnel. Although there are a substantial amount of former law enforcement personnel joining the ranks and providing security consultancy it requires a professional adjustment and paradigm shift to fulfill the security function competently.
The security consultant is essentially an advisor who utilizes his experience, knowledge and resources to recommend procedures, equipment, personnel, etc. to reduce and/or mitigate the risk exposure of the client. If, the consultant is called in after an incident to assess the culpability of the parties involved or determine the responsible parties, the consultant will review all policies and procedures or lack thereof effective at the time of the incident, review physical environment, condition of applicable equipment function or malfunction, surveillance video (if available)and other incident specific data to assess the event and make a determination of the chain of events or the Who, What, Where, Why and How of the occurrence. Documentation by the consultant inclusive of recommendations can be critical to the client in deciding how to proceed and corrective measures to take if applicable to alleviate the possibility of incident reoccurring. It is imperative for the consultant to be unbiased in his or her assessment and recommendations and present the facts as determined, impartially.
A security consultant can have multiple functions or proficiencies including conducting security audits, risk assessment, executive protection, technical surveillance counter measures to name a few. All these functions including physical surveillance can be interrelated depending on the case and events requiring the services of the consultant. A professional practitioner would be able to assess what functions would be required to effect the security necessary for the client based on the nature of the case. However, as the case unfolds the requirements might shift or expand and vigilance is essential to remain effective in the security capacity. Integrity is the hallmark of all security functions; professionalism and reputation are what clients depend on. The thoroughness, foresight and ability to adapt to the unexpected is paramount to ones profession depending on the security function applicable to the case or assignment, e.g. Security Consultants can coordinate executive protection details including conducting threat assessment, pre-surveillance, counter-surveillance, logistics, security personnel and/or be an intricate part and member of the close protection team. This is determined by the threat assessment, logistics, coordination and the proficiency of the security practitioner in the executive protection capacity in concert with other required security functions. However, some security consultants make their assessments and render recommendations to their clients but are not instrumental in executing the recommendations given. Implementation is done by the client, third parties or in-house corporate security personnel.
A growing cache of professional security consultants are affiliated with international organizations which offer standardized certification attesting to the competency of consultants by ascribing a certain level of years of experience in a security function, fulfilling an academic curriculum and passing a written test. Recertification is required to maintain the credential and keep current on developments in the industry that impact the consultants’ profession.
The landscape in which the security consultant functions is constantly evolving; especially in a post 911 environment. New threats have surfaced, old threats have remained and adaptation is imperative to remain effective against all. This has increased the demand for security consultants and other security related professionals equipped with the knowledge, experience and fortitude to deliver competent services to address security issues of various magnitudes and durations. The market essentially benefits from this diversity in which depending on the requirement various consultants can be sought and matched to fulfill it. This fosters and promotes free enterprise which economically is regulated by the law of supply and demand.
About the Author: Peter Bolt is a consultant for Freelance Security Consultants, a convenient professional online marketplace where buyers of security and private investigation services can post projects, find and compare security consultants, private investigators, private detectives and investigation agencies. He can be contacted at email@example.com, website