Having spent a good portion of my career developing training materials, I know the value of a good reference source. Although the Internet is rife with information on physical security, here are six standout sources that will prove valuable to anyone developing professional materials for security training.


It only seems logical that the federal agency with the biggest budget would have the biggest Web site. This is certainly the case with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). This is the Smithsonian of Web sites. The DHS has a six-point agenda: 1) to increase overall preparedness; 2) create better transportation security; 3) strengthen border security; 4) enhance information sharing; 5) improve DHS financial management and 6) maximize mission performance.

Here you will find links to every agency under the auspices of the DHS, plus links to many training partners of DHS such as the National Terrorism Preparedness Institute at St. Petersburg College, which provides course work and free online training videos.

The DHS also offers its own searchable digital library and course work in everything from FEMA independent study programs to basic hazmat training. The courses can be taken for DHS certification or continuing education credits. Some areas of the site are password protected and reserved for federal, state and local government employees or academics. Nevertheless, this site is chock-full of information for the security professional and well worth the time and effort. Just don’t get lost.

BLACKWATER USA, aka Blackwater Security

It is the heavyweight of private security. They prefer resumes showing military special-forces experience or a minimum of five years police special ops, and that only gets you in the door. When four of their brethren fell in Iraq in 2002 the news media referred to them only as “contractors.” Today over 400 “contractors” from various companies have been killed in the Iraq Theater. These guys protect persons and private assets in just about every trouble spot in the world. They are paid handsomely, and they are very good at what they do. They are no nonsense people from whom much can be learned. If you’re going to learn, you may as well learn from the best.

The Blackwater Web site offers a weekly e-mail newsletter providing professional articles, editorials and opinions from counterterrorism experts, as well as breaking news stories concerning security issues around the world. Their “Security for the Professional” segment highlights current news items relevant to all levels of professionals. They also regularly review tactical equipment ranging from combat handguns to tactical flashlights, and send out weekly e-mail reports.

This is a hardcore, tough-minded Web site, and a valuable asset to today’s security professional.


According to its mission statement, the United States Secret Service is mandated by statute and executive order to carry out two significant missions: protection and criminal investigations. The Secret Service protects the President and Vice President, their families, heads of state and other designated individuals and investigates threats against these protectees. The uniformed division protects the White House, Vice President’s Residence, Foreign Missions and other buildings within Washington, D.C.; it plans and implements security designs for designated National Special Security Events. The Secret Service also investigates violations of laws relating to counterfeiting of obligations and securities of the United States; financial crimes that include access device fraud, financial institution fraud, identity theft, computer fraud; and computer-based attacks on our nation’s financial, banking and telecommunications infrastructure.

They have an easily navigable Web site offering searchable .pdf files covering subjects such as: Safe School Initiatives, Insider Threat Analysis, Assessing Threats of Targeted Group Violence, and many others. Academic “think-tank” type people write these papers, and most are fully annotated and peer reviewed. The United States Secret Service Web site is an excellent source.


Michigan State University Libraries operates a very good Web site titled Criminal Justice Resources: Corporate and Private Security. The page is edited by Jon Harrison, Criminal justice specialist and social sciences collections coordinator.

It offers links to many online articles and publications covering a wide swath of informative resources. Some of the articles linked include topics like: Business Security Test, Controlling Perimeter Liability by Real World Risk Assessments/Security Practices, Emerging Security Trends, and many others.\

The Web site links to over twenty other Web sites offering security information. Obviously setup as a research resource for students of the criminal justice program, the page is an outstanding resource for the practicing professional as well.


Security Park dot Net is a UK-based news portal for the security industry. They do not print magazines or other hard-copy materials. Security Park divides the security industry into some fourteen segments, including: bank and financial security; building and office; education and school security; entertainment and events; homeland and government; hospital and healthcare; infrastructure and utilities; manufacturing and industrial; public sector; residential and home; retail; small business; sports and recreational; and transportation and logistics.

The Web site offers searchable resources for each segment. Here you find white papers, an online research library and recommendations for security books, special reports and many links to other security sites.

The news section offers daily reports about the security industry, news about specific security companies, and product news ranging from the latest biometric technology to general fire, health and safety products. This is a huge site. You could spend days here and never scratch the surface.


Need to add a little humor and levity to your presentation? You might want to get some ideas or consult with Phil the Security Guard. A hilarious Web site operated by a Santa Rosa, Calif., resident and stand up comic Phil Alexander -- who claims that he was a guard, is a guard and will always be a guard because he loves it -- reminds us that even though we are in a serious business we need not always take ourselves so seriously. His Web site has cartoons, jokes, clips from his comic routines, and short anecdotes from guards around the world, as well as a more serious link to the FBI’s top ten list.

Check out this Web site. The guy is truly funny and personally answers his e-mails. But please remember, it’s not nice to steal a security guard’s stuff.