With the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks nearly here, it's crucial to remember the security professionals who lost their lives that day and those who carry on their work and memory. Although it is unclear if any additional security professionals perished or were injured beyond Santos' co-workers, the 11 that died is 11 too many, and they deserve to be memorialized, along with the hundreds of other first reponders who died on Sept. 11, 2001. -- IFPO.
Published Dec. 4, 2015 By Dr. Joshua Walker, 9/11 Memorial Associate Oral Historian
Before joining the security team at the 9/11 Memorial Museum, Mary Santos worked as a security guard for Summit Security at the Twin Towers. Recently, she donated the blazer she wore to her job in the South Tower to the 9/11 Memorial Museum.
On the day of the 2001 attacks, 11 of Santos’ colleagues were killed. Santos, who was off-duty on 9/11, says she intends her donation of the blazer to serve as a tribute to her fallen colleagues. She believes they could have escaped, but they instead stayed behind to help.
Santos remembers her coworkers were "like a family" and that they socialized together outside of work. The blazer represents more than the loss she and so many others suffered that day. It is also a reminder of the working lives that Santos and other security professionals built at the Twin Towers.
After admittedly struggling with survivor’s guilt following 9/11, Santos returned to the World Trade Center site to work as a security guard for the 9/11 Memorial in 2014. Here, she helps visitors and watches over artifacts in the museum’s historical exhibition. The woman who once protected the towers now stands guard over their history.
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.”