Business, by nature, is personal. You create it, build it, live it, breathe it, protect it, sacrifice for it. So, sound your thunder. Be you a tadpole or a shark, be the envy of your competitors. Shout about your Inc from the rooftops. Paint the skyscrapers. Mark your territory.
Critical Intervention Services (CIS) announces its partnership with Shorecrest Preparatory School in St. Petersburg, established for the purpose of implementing a novel and comprehensive national model for school safety, security and protection beginning October 1, 2013.
In 2011, CIS resolutely committed its resources to developing a new approach to managing school vulnerabilities and building a model based on practical, effective strategies for preventing school violence now and into the future. The result of years of research, analysis and program development, CIS’ comprehensive strategy is based on the intense study of actual, identified vulnerabilities and patterns of violence from school shooting events spanning nine decades and occurring not only in the US, but also in Russia and China. Factual analysis of these school shootings, both historical and present-day, has greatly impacted CIS’ model and helped shape its primary focus of effectively protecting schools from active shooters and other types of violence.
To transition the program from model into motion, CIS began collaborating with Shorecrest in January of this year to implement its new public safety approach in pursuit of strengthening the safety, security and protection of students and all members of the campus community. The CIS model mandates armed School Protection Officers (SPOs) on campus, upgrades and enhances procedures for all emergency alerts and overall significantly fortifies the physical security of facilities and individuals within the campus.
Making school environments such as Shorecrest safer and more secure to better protect students, faculty, staff and all who volunteer or visit a school campus is CIS’ paramount interest. Consequently, CIS’ program is intended to create a national model that others can adopt and apply to meet their security needs. Toward that end, The John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, a highly reputable institution instrumental in the Sandy Hook Newtown security review, is joining CIS in its endeavor to provide solid peer review and take lessons learned to other school systems and educational institutions to benefit from shared knowledge and implementation of the CIS model.
Critical Intervention Services has pioneered many innovative methodologies and services within the realm of private sector-led public safety and enjoys a long history of developing unique and effective solutions to complex security problems. Although universities, private and public schools, and many public venues have relied on the presence of armed officers for decades, CIS has developed a methodology that employs highly trained armed officers working with tools and skill sets not typically used in conjunction with school or campus environment security. CIS’ threat assessment methodology and approach far exceeds the norm of present-day school security measures. From the hiring process to personnel matching to training, education and placement in the field, CIS’ methodology focuses on prevention of school violence and exacts great care and effort from every SPO officer.
Combating school violence is no longer something to ponder or debate. It is simply a reality that must be expertly managed both proactively and during a crisis. CIS’ new public safety model for school environments is specifically tailored to counter and control the complex issues inherent in protecting one of our nation’s most precious assets – our schools.
The CIS logo is a federally registered trademark of Critical Intervention Services, Inc.
Watch a CIS STOP team in action! THIS is how CIS and the CCBPI methodology work to give a community in dire need back to its people. After a short news spotlight, see live footage from the Mercy Drive STOP Team Deployment conducted in cooperation with the Orlando Police Department. Here’s some background information before you view:
For many long years, residents throughout apartment complexes along the notorious Mercy Drive in Orlando were shown anything but mercy by gang members, criminals, fear mongers and slumlords. To turn the tables, new owners stepped up in partnership with CIS.
CIS and OPD infiltrated in full force to help this community reclaim itself by setting the essential groundwork to bring organization to the immediate forefront, establish networks and generate investment within and by the people to better their lives and improve their quality of life.
Before CIS? Bullet holes peppered windows, trash riddled overgrown grass, graffiti decorated property walls, drugs and paraphernalia tainted “playgrounds,” roaches infested residences thick with mold, children hid from play. Chaos ruled and the innocent suffered.
After CIS? See their faces. Witness their reactions and the critical difference. STOP stands for Symmetry Targeted Oriented Patrolling. It’s all about halting community community restoration. Find out more about STOP at www.cisworldservices.org.
Photo © by Critical Intervention Services, Inc.
A significant milestone in the effort to cultivate a fully synergistic relationship between private security and public law enforcement occurred on July 11, 2012 at the Florida Police Chiefs Association’s 60th annual Summer Training Conference and Exposition held at the Harbor Beach Marriott Resort in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Critical Intervention Services Protection Officer Mathew Little, who was killed in the line of duty on May 16, 2011, was honored with the Fallen Hero Award by FPCA President Chief Paul Sireci. The event set new precedent as it marks the first instance of a private sector officer to receive the important honor. Until now, the Fallen Hero Award has only been bestowed on law enforcement officers that were killed in the line of duty. The award was given as part of the FPCA’s Private Security Partnership Committee Awards which were established in 2011 as a means for the FPCA and the Private Security Partnership Committee to annually recognize public-private partnerships.
The inclusion of a fallen private security officer as a recipient of this high honor is representative of the strides the private and public sectors have made over the years to overcome their conflicts and collaborate for the benefit of the common goal of public safety. Gone are the days of contention arising from separate missions and welcomed still more is the exchange of mere co-existence for an emerging collaborative relationship that will only serve the best interests of people and public safety. According to the FPCA, to be considered for the Fallen Hero Award, the honored security officer must have died in the line of duty while performing authorized security functions for his employer or employer’s client. When he lost his life to a spiteful bullet, Officer Little was indeed doing just that – patrolling a troubled community in St. Petersburg and protecting its residents.
In attendance at the presentation ceremony were an estimated thirty police chiefs from around the State. Chief Paul Sireci presented the Fallen Hero Award to Officer Little’s family and offered praise to Mat and the private security industry. “While we have two missions, we share one common goal of public safety,” he said. He also respectfully acknowledged that law enforcement is outnumbered by those in the private protection industry by 3 to 1, a truth that legitimizes the crucial role the private sector plays in safeguarding not only the public, but critical infrastructures that we rely upon for our well-being. The audience responded with a standing ovation. It was an emotional moment as the family stood to accept the award and a commemorative plaque and deliver a note of appreciation and love for Mat. Afterward, attendants adjourned to a beachfront deck and enjoyed food and spirits and toasted Mat, glasses raised against the backdrop of a captivating Florida sunset.
It is a harsh reality the sacrifices that public safety professionals have made and the dangers they face. Both private and public officers put their lives on the line everyday to protect the people of this great state. Honoring Mat’s contribution to that utmost goal is a tribute by law enforcement to all of the private security industry. With continued efforts such as this event, we are certain to wholly bridge the gap, growing the private-public relationship from co-existence to cooperation to partnership.
Photo © by Critical Intervention Services, Inc.
With the release of yet another controversial decision by the National Labor Relations Board this year, employers are again struggling to make sense of limitations imposed on their internal workplace policies. The NLRB’s July 30, 2012 decision in Banner Health System targets workplace investigations and prohibits an employer from requesting participating employees not discuss a workplace misconduct investigation until the employer has first determined there is a need for confidentiality based on one of four criteria. The otherwise common practice of instructing employees to keep an investigation confidential is now subject to consideration of whether:
The matter fell into NLRB hands after an administrative law judge deemed this standard procedure acceptable because it served the legitimate business purpose of protecting the integrity of an investigation. The case involved a hospital employee who was disciplined for insubordination after he, out of concern for patients’ well-being, refused a supervisor’s order to sterilize surgical instruments with hot water from a coffee machine when the hospital’s steam system failed. The employee was asked not to discuss the investigation with his co-workers. The employee filed an unfair labor practice charge against the hospital claiming that the request for confidentiality violated his right to discuss workplace conditions with other workers. When the judge ruled in favor of the employer, the employee appealed to the NLRB, who determined that the hospital’s “blanket approach” to the issue was overbroad and established the aforementioned prerequisite to the routine instruction. Concerns voiced over repercussions of the ruling include the chilling effect it may have on victims and witnesses as well as the limitations it may impose on an employer’s ability to make key credibility determinations, conduct a focused investigation, and serve the interests of itself and its employees by stopping workplace misconduct.
While this controversial decision is being challenged, employers are left to figure out how to navigate the now more perilous waters of internal investigations. Consistent with the NLRB decision, employers should review their policies and practices governing internal investigations for blanket instructions to employees regarding communication during an investigation and seek the advice of an employment attorney should any questions regarding compliance arise. If an employer launches an investigation, determining whether confidentiality is necessary should be done in contemplation of the four factors identified in Banner Health and the employer’s rationale for any directive to employees should be thoroughly documented. With this decision, employers should also consider the importance of the initial speed of an investigation to curtail risks of witness contamination, evidence tampering, fabrication, and other concerns.
The full board decision is available at: http://www.huntonlaborblog.com/uploads/file/Banner_Health_System.PDF
At the July 10, 2012 Stand Your Ground Task Force meeting in Arcadia, KC Poulin along with Patty Schmitt, CEO of Aegis Protective Services, sat as invited panelists and offered perspective regarding the relationship between Florida’s Stand Your Ground law and the private security industry as well as insight on the concerns surrounding amendment to the law from the industry’s viewpoint.
The 19-member Task Force on Citizen Safety and Protection, convened by Governor Rick Scott, is charged with conducting a full-scale examination of Florida’s controversial law and reporting recommendations to the Governor and lawmakers prior to the start of the next legislative session in March of next year. The Florida law has come under intense nationwide scrutiny in the wake of the Trayvon Martin shooting in February. Enacted in 2005, Stand Your Ground permits the use of deadly force if a person fears imminent serious injury or death and imposes no duty to retreat.
During the meeting, Poulin and Schmitt provided the Task Force with an overview of the services provided by the private protection industry, along with relevant industry data and statistical information and fielded specific questions that provided “food for thought” on this important and contemporary issue. Florida’s Stand Your Ground law is widely debated for its ambiguity, application, and the surprisingly different results it yields when proffered as a defense. Any revision of the law is likely to impact the private security industry and operating procedures. To view Poulin and Schmitt’s discussion with the Task Force in its entirety, click on the attached link.
Regardless of the complexity of the security challenge, effectiveness and excellence are the two core principles founding the CIS philosophy and our approach to all client needs. Although all security agencies promise excellence, at Critical Intervention Services, the pursuit of excellence isn't just a pledge. It's the lifeblood of our culture and the cornerstone of our success. Affecting positive change within the communities we serve and impacting the private security and public safety industry is our constant aspiration. There is no finish line. The payoff happens along the journey as we witness the critical difference our enduring effort makes int he lives of the people and communities we protect and the industry we strive to better.
The CIS logo is a CIS federally registered trademark.
Major Mark Puetz, now a ten-year veteran of CIS, has a few call signs under his belt. A former U.S. Marine and one time CIS Echo, Bravo, Sierra, Command, and Delta, you can bet his boots flaunt mud. Now the Director of Risk Management and Professional Standards at CIS for 8 years, if you’ve never met Major Puetz, don’t fret, that’s a good thing. If you don’t ever want to meet him, that’s even better! Avoiding a visit to his office is a smart move. But, if you don’t know much about him, that’s about to change.
For a decade, Major Puetz has been instrumental in shaping CIS – from the field to the classroom to the boardroom – he has been a dedicated, valuable and very proactive member of the CIS team. For his ability, knowledge, leadership and integrity, CEO KC Poulin is pleased to announce Major Puetz’s promotion to Director of Risk Management and Professional Standards – a title duly earned. At the CEO’s request, I sat down with Mark to find out a bit about him in order to share some of his history and his climb up the CIS ranks. What I found out is that it makes a lot of sense that Mark has excelled at CIS.
Mark grew up in central Ohio and studied criminology and philosophy at The Ohio State University in Columbus. Not your average freshman, Mark had direction from the beginning, his interest being law enforcement. “I never had any sympathy for predators,” he declared. “I wanted to be part of a team involved in keeping them off the streets,” he said with conviction. Criminology classes taught Mark to think about criminals and their actions in terms of “why,” rather than “what happened,” and philosophy classes taught him how to understand thought processes – they taught him to think about thinking.
In case it all sounds a bit too bookish, here’s something that might surprise you. Amid the intellectual rigor and stimulating culture in which he was admittedly blissfully submersed, Mark enlisted in the Marine Corps. He went through boot camp and completed his bachelor’s degree as part of a commissioning program, and drilled with a reserve unit during college. The Marine Corps experiences Mark describes are clearly meaningful and lasting: sniper school, noncommissioned officer school, marine corps leadership, Paris Island, drill and ceremonies, PT, the brotherhood, the camaraderie. During his enlistment, Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait and the Gulf War heated up. It was war on new territory – the desert – so he got to experiment with all sorts of new military gear. “We were doing anti-terrorism before anti-terrorism was cool,” he recalled with a grin.
After leaving the military, Mark went home to Ohio to “think” about a new direction. That took him down a path or two. He held some typical security jobs, a couple of summer jobs as camp counselor and “worked” as a wilderness guide in the Adirondack Mountains which led to a job truly working with seriously at risk youth in an outdoor environment in Pennsylvania. Mark liked the philosophy of the program because it was centered around alternative approaches to imprisonment and helped change the lives of troubled youths. Mark’s journey then led him to Florida’s Department of Juvenile Justice where the program he became part of exposed him to intricate details and insight into youth gang life. He began to study youth gangs and decided he would be limited in that field without an advanced degree. He wanted something versatile and he chose USF’s MBA program for that very reason – so he could go in any direction.
In 1998, Mark hung out his own shingle and started a consulting business. He wanted to use analytical thought processes to help struggling business owners find their vision and establish direction for their companies (a healthy combination of his education and experience). While getting his business established, he looked for a night job and eventually spotted an ad for employment at CIS. Soon he became more involved with what he was doing at CIS and the methodology he was implementing and eventually gave CIS his full-time attention. Working at CIS was akin to what he aimed to do when he studied criminology and worked in programs designed to help juvenile delinquents.
Mark’s career at CIS began in the field as an Echo like everyone else, and while his military background provided the tactical experience for the job, his background working with delinquent juveniles gave him the street awareness he needed to work with different properties and engage with residents. From the get go Mark was constantly looking for ways to understand things and make them work better in ways that made sense. Even as an Echo he would actually analyze the properties he patrolled for their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. And, knowing they would reveal a bigger picture, he tracked his findings. He maintained spreadsheets tracking every Violation Notice or Trespass Warning issued, of every suspicious person or vehicle, or every piece of intelligence that he did not yet fully understand. He was right, and before long, patterns started to emerge in the data. As he shared his discoveries and thoughts, his superiors took notice. After a year or two he was called in-house where he was given various projects involving breaking something down and using analytical thought processes to rebuild it into something better, something more effective or efficient. Over the years, Mark has engaged in improving the quality of processes and programs in virtually every department and aspect of CIS – hiring, training, accounting, HR, management, operations, and the list goes on. Now, if a system needs to be rethought, Mark is the go to person.
For his efforts he was promoted to Senior Master Sergeant and started doing more and more of these types of tasks in multiple departments and soon wound up as Deputy Commander working very closely with the Chief. Along the way, he started communicating with insurance adjusters and attorneys and was progressively given more and more responsibilities. In 2006, the executive staff decided to rewrite CIS’ standard operating procedures. It started out as a small, group effort project, but once Mark “did his thing on it,” it became a precedent setting project resulting in a 300 page SOP manual rivaling those used in law enforcement agencies. Recognizing connectivity with the officers was waning because the organization was growing so significantly, the group set out to ensure they had a “tool to let officers know what we expect,” he said of the task. Mark described the SOP manual as “part treatise, part manual, part culture.” “It is meant to guide [officers] and help them understand what CIS is all about,” he explained. In 2009, the manual was finally published. Mark was an integral part of that major accomplishment and he received the CEO Coin in recognition of his hard work.
Mark’s has been an ever-evolving job that has often been reshaped and redefined over the last ten years. The Risk Management and Professional Standards Department was established right before the SOP rewrite began. Mark was given the rank of Major. Today, that department manages lawsuits, worker’s compensation, internal affairs investigations and professional standards, and maintains relations with the Division of Licensing, the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, law enforcement and much more. The responsibility is tremendous and of great importance, especially to an agency that places so much emphasis on maintaining integrity and leadership in the industry.
So, what keeps Mark at CIS? Part of what keeps him here he says is “the methodology and working with how it can best be deployed.” For Mark it goes back to alternative approaches, breaking stuff apart and rigorous thought process. You will recall he liked those things about his criminology and philosophy studies, and he gets it all at CIS. “CCBPI is an alternative approach and it is effective for getting rid of predators,” he remarked. And “disagreements,” among commanders, he says, “are usually only about how to do it best.” He likes that. “Quality processes are key to substantial growth,” he advises,” and “improving the quality of our programs is all about analytical thought processes.” Through creations of his own and through those of others at CIS, Mark has seen “tremendous improvements and a lot of growth and change” over the years.
His best advice when it comes to new ideas? “Never marry an idea. Count on it getting thrown out there and getting beat up, but something will get implemented.” From Echo to Director, Mark has been casting ideas, scrutinizing systems and helping shape CIS into the industry leader it has become. His work is both commendable and representative of the remarkable career paths CIS has to offer. Mark is the first member of command staff to be promoted to such a top-ranking position and CIS is proud of both this pinnacle he has reached and the opportunity to help him achieve it. Going forward, Mark will, without a doubt, put a great deal of thought into his new role as Director, set the bar high, and, of course, continue the processes!
Sgt. Mark Puetz, MBA
July 27, 1966 - January 31, 2018