Efficient CPO/PSD today have the big advantage of technology on their side. As there are many applications for Android and iOS as well, one of them stands out from the crowd.
Helping Close Protection Operators/ Close Protection Officers to keep a good record of their working tasks, self-management and career oportunities as well, an app simply called CPO, has just got new improvements in order to help Close Protection Operators make their work easier.
The new features include: a “Working in Hostile Environment section”, organisational tips, “Procedures and Planning section for job related guides”, setting up a business section and many templates to download, useful in CP industry. Plus, advice on CV and professional development.
Here is a screenshot of the new updates as for May 10th, 2014.
It is a smart phone app specifically designed for Close Protection Officers/Operatives (CPO‘s) that has been out for a few months now. The app is simply titled CPO and claims to provide “relevant industry information for those who are working, those between contracts and those looking to move into the security industry.
The first thing that is almost always the first thought when purchasing something is the cost, and this app is pretty cheap. For iPhone and iPad users it comes in at £1.99 which is a very affordable price.
Close Protection Content
The first thing to review is the level of content within this app. It certainly contains a lot of information. And it is all relevant to Close Protection which is a good thing, plus it has the benefit of not being covered in annoying adverts that pop up every 5 minutes like some of the free apps do. On the face of it the app looks very professional. It utilises solid colours and a good contrasting text format.
Upon launching the app you’re provided with 10 options of where to go along with Facebook, Camera, E-mail, Video and Twitter links.
10 options you have for accessing content within the app.
This section of the app allows you to open contacts, set reminders, add events to your calenders, has templates for sending emails to companies regarding vacancies and has a template for CV’s. Having your contacts, reminders and calender accessible from one location could prove useful however I am not keen on the idea of using someone else’s template for sending emails seeking employment. The reason for this is because you need to tailor your cover letter to each company. Sending out generic emails to a large list of companies at once is a quick way to get your CV filed in the bin and while these email templates aren’t cover letters (they’re there for requesting permission to send a CV and cover letter), they are your first point of contact with a potential employer, and if they have seen the app then they may see it as laziness on your part. A minor point, but in the current over crowded market you need to be flawless with your approach at gaining work.
Potential Close Protection Equipment
Next on the list is a list of potential equipment that CPO’s may use while carrying out tasks. Now, I’m not going to go into too much detail on what is in the list as that wouldn’t be fair on the app creator but it does give some good information. It has lists of first aid kits, body armour, earpieces and a few others. There is a very handy guide to ballistic levels for body armour, which some may find useful.
This part of the app has a whole host of guidelines for carrying out certain aspects of your job as a Close Protection Operator. It has a guide for the duties of the Security Advance Party, Restaurant and Hotel check lists, vehicle equipment lists, a client threat assessment, and a few more. They’re all quite in depth as well and would certainly be useful for anyone who doesn’t know how to do these things.
Career and Personal Development
This section gives you advice on how to advance your career as a Close Protection Operative starting off with a list on how to become more organised going right through to searching for work and further training you can complete. Some of the information here is again, bog standard common sense to most CPO’s but there are some things in this section that may help those out there who are struggling to get that first foot in the door. For someone who has been doing the job a few years it won’t get you excited, but for the new comers to the industry this section could prove to be helpful. Especially for those who have used training providers that don’t offer much in the way of career and job seeking support.
Within the links section there is a list of links, some are quite handy and are websites that some operators will undoubtedly use frequently.
A professional CPO always has at least one bag packed with some essential kit. Things such as torches, spare radios, a variety of earpieces, a spare phone, a travel iron, a wash kit, notebooks, pens, a change of clothes, laptop, books, resistance band’s (for getting some physical training in when I can’t get home), etc, etc. I’m sure most, if not all, experienced CPO’s have the same and this section is there to help you pack. It’s split into One Day Contracts, Short Term Contracts and Long Term Contracts, and just gives you an idea of what you should be packing. Everything in this section is common sense, and someone who has no experience whatsoever in security to be able to guess most of the items in this list, and although the information is accurate and realistic, it is a good reminder.
My CPO Details
This section is about as basic as it gets. It’s a place to store things such as your SIA number and expiry date NI Number and UTR number.
It also features functions as Update CV, Chase Invoice, Pack Go Bag, Search Vehicle and many more, as a list of things that you may possibly want to set as a reminder. But also as a
Job Check Lists
Job Check Lists becomes a functional useful tool once you have filled all your professional details, including your SIA License number. It also has a “Pack your Go Bag with relevant equipment as per our recommendation”. True that most of the information is repeated elsewhere in the app in a different form, but double-checking, especially in working under stress conditions is a must.
This feature in the app does exactly what it says on the tin. Unfortunately though, it doesn’t do it very well. It is basically just a map of the world. The exact same thing that all smart phones already have built into them these days, but with zero features. You can’t find your location on it, you can’t drop a pin, you can’t plan a route and you can’t access Google Street View. It is basically the equivalent of an A-Z map book, on your phone. With today’s technology and the features available in other mapping applications this is a really big let down. But, in joint with the maps provided by the iOS and also Google Maps, it becomes a handy tool. Still, state-of-the-art, cutting-edge technology maps would be good to be included in this app, by the developer itself.
All in all this app has solid content, and is laid out nicely. It’s not a chore to flick through, although some of the menu bars do need fixing, but they are minor issues. The content is relevant and up to date. If you have just completed a Close Protection Course and don’t know this stuff, then this app is a refresher of all the routine of the job and things you may not remember for some reason, at some point.
So who would this be handy for? Anyone wanting to come into the close protection industry would do well to buy this app. It will give you a feel of the sort of things that you would have to invest in and would give you a very minor insight into what the job can involve in terms of preparation. This would suit those that have been out of the industry for a while. Those who have been working in the maritime industry for a few years for example, who don’t have their course notes and want a little memory jog.
You can download the app from iTunes App Store for £1.99 or same price converted in Euros or national currency in some countries.