The Conley Group, Inc., the organization owned and led by Tom Conley, is known globally for its leadership in the security industry. However, Conley’s 44-year career in private security entails far more than simply leading a best-in-class security company. Conley has been highly dedicated and has worked tirelessly in pursuit of two overarching objectives: to transition the security industry to the security profession and to promote effective partnerships between public safety and private security. He has led not only by example with his own company, but also through his work within volunteer organizations, such as the International Foundation for Protection Officers (IFPO) and the ASIS International Law Enforcement Liaison Council.

Conley was instrumental in developing an initiative that resulted in an academic partnership between the IFPO and Purdue Global University that provided the 2.2 million people employed in the security field a faster pathway to university degrees, and allowed the Certified Protection Officer program (CPO) and Certified in Security Supervision and Management (CSSM) certifications to be academically-credible to those in and outside of the security industry.

“The true test of any security program’s real strength resides in the capabilities of its line-level security officers,” Conley notes. “Throughout my 44-year career, I have observed the emphasis on security in most organizations is on the CSO, the director of security or the security manager. It is true that the competency of the leaders who occupy these special positions are essential to the success of a security program. However, there seems to be a level of over importance placed on security leaders and an under-significance placed on the security officers who actually do the work. Security officers are by far the most critical to the success of a security program. Expressed another way, in the absence of competent line level security officers doing the job, nothing else really matters. While I have always worked hard to learn as much as I could as a leader, I have always kept a laser sharp focus on the hiring, training, education and mentoring of our security officers so they can be highly capable.”

Conley was also instrumental in creating the Bill Zalud Memorial Award for Professional Excellence from the IFPO and Security magazine.

“The bottom line up front is both security and law enforcement are professions that demand serious people who are truly dedicated to the protection of life, information and property,” Conley says. “If anyone wants to be a law enforcement or security professional, they must be educated, professionally-certified, capable and motivated people who possess excellent character. If anyone is not highly committed, then they should seek employment in an industry where they will not be in a position to protect the lives of others.”