In August, the International Foundation for Protection Officers, in conjunction with Security Magazine, announced the inaugural Bill Zalud Memorial Award for Professional Excellence, an award that recognizes one security professional or an organization for professional excellence or outstanding service in the security profession.

Now the nominations have been cast, and a team selected SecTek Security as the runner-up.

In its application for the award, the Reston, Va.-based company described its philosophy to the security industry:

"SecTek conveys to all its security officers, supervisors, and managers that security is not a job, but an important career requiring individual commitment to learning and improving one's knowledge and skills. SecTek is thus willing to pay 100 percent of the costs to support its security personnel in pursuing their CPO and CSSM certifications. Why? We want our officers to take pride in their work, which is greatly enhanced through the pride that results from achieving a well known security certification. We encourage all our certified officers to put their certification designation after their signatures as a badge of honor."

Bill Zalud

"SecTek has incorporated the IFPO certifications into its own professional development program. The IFPO CPO program is an excellent introduction to the broad roles of the security officer. Similarly, the CSSM program is a excellent way to develop the skills of both new and experienced supervisors and managers. The reality is that the round-the-clock schedules of security operations make attending fixed classes a challenge to the majority of the workforce. Because the CPO and CSSM programs can be accomplished according to individual work, scheduling, and family demands, the IFPO programs are a convenient and effective way to reach audiences who would otherwise not have the opportunity to pursue their continuing education."

"Earning the CPO is a milestone event for most officers: it is tangible proof that hard work and study pay off. More important than earning the certification however, is the change experienced by our certified officers: they now see themselves as truly professional security officers."

The company also paid homage to award namesake Bill Zalud, writing, "Bill Zalud sought professional excellence in the industry throughout his life; SecTek's commitment to improving the career and life opportunities of its workforce embodies the spirit of the Memorial Award for Professional Excellence named in Mr. Zalud's honor."

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