In his early career, Johnnie L. Mock, PSP, earned his stripes in the U. S. Army, serving with the 101st Airborne Division in Vietnam, as a member of the Army Pistol Team, and as an instructor in Korea and Germany. He used his GI Bill benefits to earn an associate's degree in industrial and retail security.
Contract security employment opportunities took him to Kosovo, where he guarded military bases, and to Kabul, Afghanistan, where he was a contract security supervisor attached to the U.S. Embassy. The idea of certification first entered his thoughts while in Kabul. "I decided to pursue the ASIS Physical Security Professional (PSP) certification because it is more technical and would enhance my overall skills," he remembers.
As a permanent legal resident of Germany by marriage, Mock moved there for two years and began to pursue his PSP certification. He passed the exam in 2008 "with excellent support from the ASIS Benelux Chapter," he says. "The certification gave me a solid technical background in CCTV and access control systems, which were weak links in my training and experience."
Mock puts that expertise to work daily in his current assignments with Covenant Security in Phoenix, Arizona. He has taken on the dual roles as site manager for Covenant Security at the W. L. Gore & Associates facility in Phoenix and as account manager for the Bechtel Corporation site in Glendale, Arizona.
"Both of my clients are large corporations engaged in business activities that have the potential to draw protesters," says Mock. In addition, "we are constantly concerned about a possible active shooter situation, and we train to respond accordingly." One of his most challenging responsibilities is ensuring that his 20 guards and other managers respond to medical emergencies rapidly and according to client protocol.
A member of ASIS since 2000, Mock chairs the Phoenix Chapter House of Worship Committee and serves in a similar role for ASIS at the international level. He values the opportunity to network and make valuable contacts.
Mock encourages others, especially young military personnel looking to transition to a civilian career, to pursue the PSP certification. "Be prepared to seriously study the books and master their concepts," he advises. "Take your time and ensure you thoroughly understand the material before you try to take the test."
The payoff in client satisfaction is worth it, Mock asserts. "My clients appreciate the hard work it takes to be certified, and they benefit from someone with that work ethic, " he says. "Happy clients benefit the company."