Congratulations go out to IFPO Board of Directors member Tom Conley for his recognition as one of Security Magazine's Most Influential People in Security 2019. This highly prestigious award began in 2005 and thus far, no one from a contract security company has ever been selected as a recipient. Conley will also be the first Iowan to receive this award, which will be presented to him in Washington, D.C. in November. Throughout his career, not only has Conley displayed longevity, logging in four decades -- and halfway through his fifth -- in the security industry, but during that time, he has established himself as an innovator, an influencer and a champion of the front-line security professional. -- IFPO.
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.”
The International Foundation for Protection Officers (IFPO) is dedicated to providing meaningful and cost effective security training for security guards and protection officers.
We believe that education is a necessary and essential part of professional security training and the security officer’s background. IFPO serves individuals, security companies, and organizations that have their own private security staff. Our students and members benefit from the recognition and standing that the prestigious IFPO certification conveys.
International Foundation for Protection Officers Mission Statement
Mission Statement Part I.
The International Foundation for Protection Officers provides professional learning opportunities for security practitioners, to impart the knowledge, skills, and competencies required to maximize job performance and enhance career potential.
Purpose: to make a positive difference in the quality of the participant’s job performance and elevate the professional status of students who partake of our learning opportunities.
Business: to supply committed security practitioners with a quality education to help achieve their highest potential and provide recognized accreditation for successful completion of educational goals.
Values: commitment, integrity, responsibility, and standards of excellence, provide the platform that supports our journey as we pursue our mission.
Commitment to Excellence: To be the recognized center of excellence and primary provider of education and training products and services to the security industry.
Mission Statement Part II.
“The International Foundation for Protection Officers is committed to the support and professional development of protection officers and supervisors. Through advocacy, promoting training standards, and providing accessible training, education and certification opportunities, we seek to enhance their professional standing as well as increase and diversify the value of the vital services they provide.”