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William Harvey

William Harvey

William "Bill" Harvey is currently serving as chief of police in south central Pennsylvania. He retired from the Savannah (Ga.) Police Department where he worked assignments in training, patrol, and CID. Harvey has more than 25 years of experience working with recruits, rookies, and FTOs.
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Security as a Second Career

If you're contemplating what you'll choose as a second career, you might want to add private security to the list.

October 03, 2014  |  by Mark McClure

If there's one thing those of us who have served in law enforcement understand, it's how important it is to know that the people you are working with are on your side. In the 18 years I spent with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and four years as a Georgia county sheriff, I was fortunate to work with people I trusted and people who knew they could trust me. Doing contract security work in Afghanistan, I was also reminded time and time again that the person standing next to me could mean the difference between life and death.

While I was in Afghanistan, I met Rick Dunn, who has also served as a law enforcement officer in Georgia. When Rick got back stateside, he opened a Signal 88 Security franchise and, when I came back a year later, I partnered with him in the business. Later, we merged our office with the South Atlanta office, which was owned by retired army officer Jeff Carlyle.

We all agree that owning our own private security firm was the right choice for us after retirement. And, clearly we're doing something right: this year our office was the Signal 88 Franchise of the Year.

Part of what has made our partnership a really good fit is that we all have similar backgrounds. Jeff has a strong operational background from his military years, and he's our planning guy. He can set goals and metrics and also plan strategies to help us meet them.

The law enforcement experience that Rick and I share makes us familiar with the kind of security issues that our clients face. We know what's going on in retail centers, apartment complexes and other areas that use our services. We've got a good grasp of how to investigate a crime, and we know what we need to do to prevent it. Take, for example, copper theft. We know we need to be extra vigilant about that, and we also know it's a link in a chain that can include drugs, black market trading and other issues.

We can talk to potential customers with authority about the biggest areas where they are vulnerable, and we know that helps them feel secure placing their trust in us to be part of the solution.

People in law enforcement tend to be the type who rush in when others are rushing out. Now that we're business owners, we don't have to do too much of that (and believe me, our families are thankful) but it helps us be better employers because we know that we are asking our Patrol Officers to go into situations that might be dangerous or volatile.

If you're looking to retire from the force and just sit back and let the checks roll in, owning a private security franchise isn't for you. You have to really want to help people, and you have to really want to build those relationships in the business community.

But what you don't have to do is reinvent the wheel. As a police officer, you already have the skills and the knowledge you need for private security: discipline, awareness of crime and criminal behavior, a cool head under pressure, respect for procedure, etc. If there are any skills you think you're missing, or if you feel like you could be stronger in a particular area, like the operations side of things, find a partner or hire someone who is good at that.

Not everyone needs a business partner, but I wouldn't advise going it alone. By being part of a franchise network, we can own our own business and still have the training, software, marketing and business coaching support of the greater Signal 88 family. Just like in the old days, it's nice to know that someone has our back.

Mark McClure spent 18 years with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and four years as a Georgia county sheriff. He's now co-owner of a security company, and says his experience investigating crime makes him better at preventing it.


Comments (3)

Displaying 1 - 3 of 3

132&Bush @ 10/4/2014 10:48 PM

This is an ad and gives no information.

Ima Leprechaun @ 10/9/2014 3:05 AM

Security work is so boring that I could only do it for a short time. I was always a busy street cop, sitting around or walking around doing nothing bores the crap out of me. Although all the security training video's are made by Police Magazine's own Dave Smith. I have extensive Security training, hazmat, HIPPA rights and OSHA training but with no enforcement rights all you can do is suggest a correction to your employer, you have zero enforcement powers. Having said that, the employer always ignores your comments and they do what they aren't supposed to do anyway, the security guard is the lowest person on the totem pole and the least respected. Sure, document everything just like CYA but nobody listens. Most security guards are put under the head of the building maintenance division with the janitor garnering more respect than you. Even cops don't like you.

Mo Lassis @ 10/11/2014 9:01 PM

The 1st paragraph in this article is why crooked cops become the norm. Other cops don't speak out for fear of retaliation. Here are a couple examples, that prove most cops are crooked as h3ll anyway! And it's law enforcement at every level, no more excuses cops. It's time to fire all and start over with honest folks.

Here is another example of a great chief working for the citizenry, and doing a great job I'm sure most cops would say.
^^^
http://benswann.com/ex-police-chief-accused-of-sexual-assault-on-the-job-sentenced-to-probation/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=nl

http://rt.com/usa/king-city-police-cars-047/

http://www.fbi.gov/sandiego/press-releases/2014/corrupt-u.s.-customs-and-border-protection-officer-sentenced-to-more-than-seven-years?utm_campaign=email-Immediate&utm_medium=email&utm_source=san-diego-press-releases&utm_content=308371

http://www.nbcchicago.com/investigations/Video-Shows-Cops-May-Have-Lied-On-the-Stand-255416251.html

http://www.nola.com/crime/index.ssf/2009/12/atf.html

http://benswann.com/baltimore-detective-intimidated-for-testifying-against-police-resigns/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=nl

http://www.cnn.com/2013/12/09/justice/los-angeles-deputies-arrested/

http://click.bobitnews.com/?qs=6bb7fd9929ccefcaa534f725b6be022733920b6cd2a33eff3a39435aeebc2f1cdf979b2690332b06

It's time to hold cops accountable. But first every cop should be considered a dangerous lying thief, and you should fire on them first, to protect yourself. They will shoot you and make up a story.

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