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Cool Security Jobs?

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    Back in July, the Houston Chronicle in partnership with Yahoo!® hotjobs® printed an article titled HPD offers options for creative career paths (On horseback or under water, officers can train for special assignments). I couldn't find it online so I decided to type it myself (yes, I actually typed the article for y’all).

    HPD offers options for creative career paths
    On horseback or underwater, officers can train for special assignments
    By David Wahome
    Employment Correspondent

    People who associate police work with danger and stress may not know how
    cool and satisfying some police jobs can be. In the Houston Police
    Department for instance, cool jobs are found in such programs as Crime
    Scene Unit (CSU), Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT), canine patrol,
    diving and mounted patrol.

    Investigating evidence

    CSU focuses on crime scene investigation (forensics) and involves recovery
    and documentation of trace evidence such as hairs and fibers; ballistics evidence
    such as fired bullets, casings and trajectories; analysis of DNA-carrying material;
    video and photography; and scenes reconstruction.

    HPD senior police officer Mike McCoy has seen an increased interest in crime
    scene-investigation work from the public and fellow police officers. He
    attributes the interest to television shows such as “CSI Miami” and “CSI New
    York” airing on CBS.

    “Absolutely, these shows have a big influence. Before these shows cane
    about, we never got asked about these jobs,” said McCoy, an HPD recruiter
    and a 25-year veteran of the department. “Now we get asked all the time
    about the way to become a crime scene investigator.”

    Paying attention to details is one of the critical qualities that make some one
    an ideal candidate for a crime investigation job. “You have to be a very detailed
    oriented person,” McCoy said. Everything has to be done perfectly. No mess-ups.
    If the case goes to court you don’t want a guilty person to get off because you
    missed some details.”

    Specialized weapons

    SWAT, which has saving lives as its No. 1 goal, is a specialized unit that
    deals with circumstances the average patrol officer isn’t equipped to handle.

    “A lot of people are interested in SWAT. Everybody asks me how to become
    a SWAT officer, especially the young ex- military guys,” McCoy said. “If you
    were a sniper in the military, you would naturally be interested in SWAT
    because of the military-type weapons that they use.”

    McCoy said SWAT is considered a cool job because officers “have an
    opportunity to save lives and make a difference in the community.”

    While attention to details is critical in CSU, strength is considered a virtue in
    SWAT. “One has to be physically fit to be a SWAT officer. They do a lot of
    training and a lot of running,” McCoy said. Background also is important for
    this type of work. Those who seem to do better are ex-military people or
    former police officers.

    Tryouts for SWAT generally are held once a year. Officers must have at least three
    years of experience in patrol before they can apply. If accepted, an officer will be
    placed on the part-time team while maintaining his current position within the department.

    New SWAT team members train with full-time officers one week a month to learn the skill
    necessary to do the job. Once on the full-time team, an officer will be trained to become
    an assaulter or marksman, depending on the needs of the unit and the officer’s skill level.

    Animal partners

    HPD’s canine patrol program is known as the K-9 Unit. There currently are 39 teams
    in the unit assigned to various sections throughout the police department. Most K-9
    teams are assigned to patrol. Others are assigned to explosives and narcotics detection.

    Coolness of the K-9 Unit lies in the ability to “help, serve and protect,” McCoy said.
    Those who fit best in this role are “people who love animals and enjoy helping others,”
    he said. “If you don’t love dogs, why would you go in canine patrol? Dogs and their
    handlers become close partners both at home and on the job, because the dogs live
    with their handlers and their families.”

    The dogs are extremely useful when searching buildings, fields, and parks.
    HPD currently uses Belgian Malinois, German Shepherds, Labrador Retrievers and a Bloodhound.

    To become a K-9 officer one must serve in police patrol for five years before applying to the unit.
    Most police officers accepted into K-9 remain for the duration of their careers, as it is a very
    satisfying and rewarding career path. Training is conducted by some of the most experienced
    and knowledgeable handlers in the country,


    The Dive Team is responsible for responding to water related scenes encountered by the department.The
    primary job of the team is processing underwater crime scenes by searching for and recovering evidence,
    vehicles and bodies. The team also performs underwater searches of ships in the Houston Ship Channel
    to assist in narcotics trafficking investigations. It also conducts in-water security sweeps of dock areas.

    During floods, the team is deployed with its boats to assist in evacuations, and all divers are trained to
    respond with the Helicopter Division to conduct aerial rescues utilizing rescue harnesses. Divers must be
    certified in advanced scuba diving.

    “Adventurous types are the best suited for this job,” McCoy said.

    Riding on the job

    Good mounted patrol offices love riding horses and must have some horse-riding experience, McCoy said.
    “We get a lot of cowboys for this job, but they can’t take the horses home with them since we have to stable them”.

    Experience needed

    If you are interested in HPD’s cool jobs, one key point to remember is that you must first become a police officer
    and have some years of street patrol under your belt, McCoy said. “You have to patrol on the street for 2-5 years
    depending on the job. Patrol is the backbone of the department,” he said.

    Candidates interested in police work must meet the following requirements.

     Have either completed 60 semester hours from an accredited college or university with a 2.0 grade point average
    or have military service with an honorable discharge.

     Be 21 to 44 years old, but must not have reached their 45th birthday prior to oath of office or certification.

     Must be a U.S. citizen and resident of the contiguous United States for a period of time sufficient to conduct a
    comprehensive background investigation.

     Have no felony or class A misdemeanor convictions. No class B misdemeanor convictions within the past 10 years
    preceding the date of application.

     Weigh in proportion to height.

     Pass all phases of the physical agility test.

     Have a valid driver’s and proof of liability insurance.

     Have a stable credit history, family background, and employment background.

     Previous military personnel must not have been convicted of any court-martial higher than a summary.

     Have no more than two moving traffic violations within an 18-month period preceding the date of application.
    Driving record should reflect prudence and maturity.

    Plenty of opportunities

    Which areas within the department have a severe shortage of staff?

    “The whole department is short of staff right now, McCoy said. “We are hiring and will be
    hiring for a long time to come. If you meet the basic criteria, we will hire you right now.”

    Houston is not the only city in need of police officers. Other cities nationwide are hiring, creating
    a shortage for candidates. “Everybody wants to increase their department to protect citizens.

    We live in a different world now, “McCoy said.

    For information on how to apply to become a police officer,
    call HPD Human Resources Department at 1-800-252-0473 or 713-308-1800.

    Okay, that being said.. What are some cool jobs/posts/gigs/niches that you know of in the SECURITY industry and what are the qualifications... it can be non commission, Level III, Level IV, Guard Dog Training, MEDIC Officer/Healthcare Security & Safety, Telecommunication/Dispatch, Alarm System sales/installation, Security Sales, Locksmith or whatever. It can be a job/post/gig/niche you hope to work, used to work, are currently working, or a cool security job/post/gig/niche you just happen to have heard of... or seen someone else doing, or it can be a different/unusual or odd type of security job that could be perceived as being kind of cool.
    Last edited by Guardian Angel; 10-11-2007, 10:56 AM.

  • #2
    thanks for the post
    im interested also in this


    • #3
      I always thought NFL or MLB security would be interesting.
      Retail Security Consultant / Expert Witness
      Co-Author - Effective Security Management 6th Edition

      Contributor to Retail Crime, Security and Loss Prevention: An Encyclopedic Reference


      • #4
        My father-in-law does some P.T. sec work for Notre Dame in the Players Tunnel for football games, he rather enjoys it.
        He doesnt get to see much of the game, but the atmosphere is what he enjoys, it helps that hes a HUGE ND FAN!!!!
        "Not everyone who craps on you is your enemy, and not everyone who cleans it off is your friend." - My Name is Nobody


        • #5
          Originally posted by Security Consultant View Post
          I always thought NFL or MLB security would be interesting.
          Curtis Last year myself and some team members did personal security for the Patriots. All NFL teams must be for a better word were sequestered to their assigned hotel the night before the game. At first we were pretty excited about this assignment and for the first few times it was outright cool. We mingled discretely with them talked and ate off the most fantastic buffet I have ever seen. You would expect that they would only serve the healthy foods while not so. Cheese Burgers. French fries, Ice Cream, Cookies and Cake. Of course there was the healthy fare for those that wanted.

          Of all the members of the team and staff etc. I can only remember seeing one Pats logo and that was on a young trainer. Most logos were of the schools they attended. For approx two hours they went behind closed doors with their own security watching the door. They went over the next days game plan and reviewed films. After they came out to hang out and relax. No one spoke football that I can remember other than past friends that the played against or with them. One of the things that struck me most was that many carried bibles and attended an all faith evening prayer meeting. Then they all had to be in their rooms and were checked by the trainers. If not in the room as checked the fines were fast and heavy.

          Each and every one was as nice as could be and not the brawling bunch of rowdies that I envisioned. Being a huge Pats fan I knew most of the players so I was on the secure wing to ID them and give them access to it. Kind of funny I had heard of Jr.Sayo but couldn’t remember what he looked like so when he came to the entrance I was about to ID him when one of the team guys walked up and greeted him. How embarrassing I would have been to not let one of footballs greats in until IDing him. He had just joined the team. All and All other than the fame factor it might as well have been any business meeting.


          • #6
            Some of my CPP assignments have been legendary (the 99% of the planning is soon forgotten when you meet your client and get to mingle with them). The sporting events have been fantastice and being paid 12 hours to enjoy the whole atmosphere and see part of the game / match is a bonus.

            Working NYE and being paid to be at the premium location in a tv broadcast with an exclusive party of celebs, enjoying a lobster dinner (free perk) whilst gazing out over the harbour and being offered more work through some agents was almost too good to be true. But it makes up for those long, cold, lonely shifts where it has been 0300 and you are working static waiting for police to arrive at a burlgary or for a glazier to fix a broken window.
            "Keep your friends close and your enemies even closer" Sun Tzu


            • #7
              I looked into HPD, but my credit sucks. Why THAT's important I'll never know.
              sigpicMy ideal security vehicle and uniforms:


              • #8
                Not security but a cool job I once had:
                I was banquet set-up/service for a hotel. Two hotels in reality. A Radisson and a smaller non-chain hotel just across the freeway. At the time they were under the same ownership. Freddie Fender and the Texas Tornados were going to play a concert at the Radisson. The day before they set up for a reheasal in the conferance center of the smaller hotel. I was assigned to spend the day with them getting them coffee, sodas, food etc. (no alcohol) I basically was their personal valet for the day. It was awsome. They were a real cool group of guys. I got to sit there and enjoy the music all day.
                "Gun control, the theory that 110lb. women have the "right" to fistfight with 210lb. rapists. " Author Unknown


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Security Consultant View Post
                  I always thought NFL or MLB security would be interesting.
                  I agree. I would really like to work a Yankee game or even a Tampa Bay Bucs game.
                  " We are determined that before the sun sets on this terrible struggle, our flag will be recognized throughout the world as a symbol of freedom on one hand and of overwhelming force on the other" - General George C. Marshall


                  • #10
                    Out here all the security for sporting events is handled by law enforcement. They also have the "banana" coat security, which I personally am not a fan of.
                    "Alright guys listen up, ya'll have probably heard this before, Jackson vs. Securiplex corporation; I am a private security officer, I have no State or governmental authority. I stand as an ordinary citizen. I have no right to; detain, interrogate or otherwise interfere with your personal property-... basically all that means is I'm a cop."-Officer Ernie
                    "The Curve" 1998


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Ron Jessee View Post
                      I looked into HPD, but my credit sucks. Why THAT's important I'll never know.
                      Bad credit shows lack of judgment and responsibility. Large levels of debt could lead to temptation to do unscrupulous things as a police officer.
                      ATTN. SPECOPS AND GECKO45 my secret username is CIDDECEP and I am your S2. My authorization code is Six Wun Quebec Oscar Fife. Your presence here is tactically dangerous and compromises our overall mission parameter. Cease and desist all activity on this board. Our “enemies” are deft at computer hacking and may trace you back to our primary locale. You have forced me to compromise my situation to protect your vulnerable flank. This issue will be addressed later.


                      • #12
                        I worked for the Philadelphia Phillies as a Security Guard back in 2001 to 2003. We were in house and it was very interesting to say the least. I worked for them when they played at the Vet (the stadium that had a jail in the basement). I was assigned to the 700 level where all of the drunks were and we had to toss people left and right.

                        The most memorable story would have to be when we got this really loud and obnoxious drunk on the elevator. He had beer courage and started to fight us on the elevator. We grabbed him and introduced his face to the wall of the elevator. One of the other guards then started to tug on his pants and whispered in his ear the following "I'm gonna f*** you up the a** tough guy, what are you gonna do about it?" The man began to scream for help, like a b*tch! It was hilarious, we could barely hold down the laughs. So a minute or two later, we escort him into the police area where the holding cells were. He tells the cop that we tried to rape him on the elevator. The cop replies "Shut the f*** up and give your drivers license!" At that point we all lost it. Just a classic moment, you had to be there.

                        If you ever get the chance to do event security, take advantage of the entertainment.