Most security managers will have probably run across the name of Eugene Ferraro (CPP, CFE, CFI) in one context or another, but might not fully appreciate the depth of his expertise and experience in the area of workplace investigations.

Many of us will also have probably read one or more books about such investigations. Not a few of these amount to a stock set of tired ideas, theories, platitudes and advice that's of very little practical value. If that has been your experience, you'll discover that Ferraro's book, Investigations in the Workplace, is in a class by itself.

Ferraro skillfully blends three themes throughout the book:

1. The importance of establishing investigative objectives that are business-focused and process-driven. An investigation is fundamentally no different from other business "projects", and should be managed as such. This ties in neatly with the fact that security managers are already discovering the value of project management principles in other areas of their programs.

(Incidentally, I would advise every security manager to become trained in the principles of project management to at least some level, although this book does not require it. PM is one of those increasingly-common "points of connection" with business folks, many of whom think and speak in terms of PM lingo and ideas.)

2. Investigative principles, techniques and legal considerations. Ferraro's discussion of the undesirability of prosecuting employees is thorough and convincing.

3. Applied strategies for specific types of investigations. Most of the last third of this 566-page book is devoted to strategies.

The last chapter, "Improving Results", is unusual for this sort of book, but again shows Ferraro's strong business orientation. In one form or another, I'm sure most of us agree that "quality improvement" has become part of the business landscape. Like "project management", this is another "point of connection" with your business counterparts who are thinking in "QI" terms. (...and another good area for additional training for security managers).

This book is equally useful whether you conduct such investigations yourself or serve as the liaison or "contract manager" for your company with an outside investigative agency. I don't think you'll regret adding it to your professional library.

Title: Investigations in the Workplace
Author: Eugene F. Ferraro, CPP, CFE, PCI
Year of Publication: 2006
Publisher: Auerbach Publications, Boca Raton
ISBN: 0-8493-1648-0