International Foundation for Protection Officers (IFPO) Director Tom Conley, CPP, CPO, President & CEO of The Conley Group, Inc., was quoted in this story, which carried the headline, "Arm private officers in Des Moines' skywalks? Debate follows violent assault and detention of 2 teenagers." Apparently, there does not seem to be a debate as to whether crime occurs in the city's skywalks, but how much and whether that warrants having armed security officers protecting citizens. That said, it would appear there is in fact a problem, as Conley states security officers themselves are being assaulted as well. With Conley's company having the contract, the city is getting top-notch security professionals, far from any who would "present dangers to the public," as some critics believe. -- IFPO.
Downtown Des Moines residents say a different approach is necessary to keep the skywalk system safe — and the private organization that provides security officers in the 4.5-mile system of corridors has proposed arming those officers.
In a related development, police late Friday announced the arrests of two people in connection with an assault in the skywalk this month that attracted widespread attention. Jeffrey Lionel Smith Jr., 18, and a 13-year-old boy are accused in the attack. Smith is charged with assault, and the boy was referred to juvenile court.
They are accused of attacking a couple at Fifth and Grand avenues in the skywalk Oct. 12. The couple was returning to an apartment in the Equitable Building at 604 Locust St. when they were confronted by a large group of juveniles, they said. The man who was attacked suffered severe bruises, sharp red marks and a swollen left ear.
An investigation continues, police said.
Along the with proposal for armed private officers, the Des Moines Police Department says it plans to increase its role in oversight of skywalk security.
Critics of the plan contend that nuisance violations make up most of the incidents on the skywalk and that private armed security officers can present dangers to the public.
Tom Conley, who is CEO of the Conley Group, which contracts with the Des Moines Skywalk association to provide private officers, says skywalk dangers have increased recently.
"More of our security officers have been assaulted while working in the skywalk during the first quarter of 2019 than have been assaulted cumulatively from when we started providing security for the skywalk in 2002 through the end of calendar year 2018," Conley wrote in April in a quarterly report to the Skywalk Association that was obtained by the Des Moines Register.
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.”