By NOAH GALLAGHER SHANNON, NewYorkTimes
The Pinkertons wanted me to picture myself in a scene of absolute devastation. “A hurricane just wipes out everything, and you need to feed your children,” Andres Paz Larach said. The power grid is down, shipments of food are cut off, the water is no longer potable — how do you get what you need to survive? What risks do you take?
It was a hot early morning in March, and we were driving through a pine forest high in the mountains surrounding Santa Ana Jilotzingo, 25 miles northwest of Mexico City. Our Suburban, equipped with bulletproof windows and reinforced doors, labored slowly over the dirt road, which appeared to have been washed out by a recent thunderstorm.
For much of the previous hour, Paz Larach and two other executives from Pinkerton, Carlos Manuel López Portillo Maltos and Paul Rakov, had been explaining the company’s philosophy of risk management. Now over 150 years old, having long outlived its reputation as Andrew Carnegie’s personal militia, the agency has evolved into a modern security firm.
Over the last decade or so, Pinkerton began noticing a growing set of anxieties among its corporate clients about distinctly contemporary plagues — active shooters, political unrest, climate disasters — and in response began offering data-driven risk analysis, in addition to what they’re more traditionally known for.
Dressed in an untucked powder blue oxford and round, rimless sunglasses, Paz Larach, the firm’s senior vice president in charge of the Americas, paused before affecting a look of brutal candor. “You’re going to turn to desperate measures,” he said. Everybody will. The other Pinkertons nodded.
I was seated in the rear row next to Rakov, a marketing officer who, at 51, had recently shifted his career from more traditional P.R. to Pinkerton. He was now fully fluent in the language of tactical response. He chimed in to observe that preparing for a disaster can carry its own risks. He gave the example of a drought.
“If a client has food and water and all the other stuff,” he said, “then they become a target.” López Portillo and Paz Larach uttered small words of consensus in Spanish, while scanning through email on their phones. “And if and when desperate people discovered that cache of water and food,” he continued, it was the Pinkertons’ job to protect it at whatever cost.
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.”