What is your background in the industry?
I began my management career in security systems design, installation, and service and in the management of contract security services in 1979. I have also managed several UL-listed Central Stations for national companies. In 1992, I started my security consulting career and have continued to provide support to a wide variety of Fortune 500 clients. I have extensive practical experience in electronic security and life safety systems, from conceptual design and design development to system acceptance and commissioning. My telecommunications experience has helped to to develop additional expertise in technical surveillance countermeasures (TSCM) and computer/video forensics. I was recognized as a Certified Protection Professional (CPP) in 1983 by the American Society for Industrial Security (ASIS). In 1999, I was certified as a Senior Engineering Technician (Level IV) in Fire Protection Technology by the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). I am also a Certified Fire Protection Specialist (CFPS), one of fewer than 2,000 individuals certified in this category by the National Fire Protection Association. With my experience in computer forensics and covert video surveillance, I have been able to participate in numerous investigations and appear as a witness in arbitration hearings connected with labor disputes and misuse of company-owned computer resources. Since 2013, I have also provided video forensic consulting and expert witness services for both civil and criminal cases.
What would you consider to be your specific area of expertise?
Security and life-safety systems consulting; video forensics and digital video expert witness services; security project management; and industry training. I am especially proud to be associated with training programs that provide an introduction for those who are new to the industry. Over the last ten years, I have developed more than fourteen courses which have been recognized for continuing education at the state level.
Why have you invested your time in being a NTS Instructor?
When I first started in the industry, I came from an audio-visual background. I had a basic understanding of low-voltage systems, but knew very little about security and life-safety systems. My knowledge and experience of codes and standards was almost non-existent. I was fortunate to work with many experienced personnel who took the time to educate me and guide me in the right direction. Getting involved with the National Training School in 1987 opened up many doors for me and motivated me to improve my knowledge and my skills as an instructor. It means a lot to me to be able to pass along some of my experience and knowledge. I can also say that I have never taught a class where I did not learn something from the students.
What does it mean to you to teach others your craft?
One of the things I discovered about our industry when I was starting out was that the knowledge gained from on-the-job training was often either poor or just plain wrong. I was taught "facts" about industry and technical practices, especially code-compliance, that were based on myth. For example, very few field technicians even had ready access to the NEC and often made assumptions based on conjecture. I believe it's my responsibility as an instructor to recognize when I'm not sure of my facts and to do the research to ensure that I pass along accurate and objective information to others.