In The Boardroom Press Room About Us Research Reports Contact Us
Security Strategies Today

HP Banner

In The Boardroom With...

Mr. Steve Cocco
Security Strategies Today

Security Strategies Today is a private investigations firm offering services in English and Spanish to the private sector, NGOs and government agencies as well as to individuals and businesses. We focus on crisis management training, threat and vulnerability identification and assessment as well as training in active shooter and emergency management protocols for the workplace. Our consulting services include simulated scenarios and role playing geared toward maximizing client engagement and preparation. We offer comprehensive, high quality services and take pride in offering a tailored and affordable alternative in enhancing security and safety both at the workplace and during official or personal travel.

Security Strategies Today also offers comprehensive travel briefings and threat reporting, identifying potential security, health or political risks that could affect your personal or business travel overseas. Our written briefings are concise and time-sensitive and are a valuable tool, providing independent examination of risks. We include tips for cultural acclimation while overseas and a list of "do's and don'ts" while in country.

Finally, in Arizona, we conduct private investigations into potential violations of criminal or civil law and offer litigation support and expert witness testimony in related proceedings.

Mark Williams, Director of Sales – EMEA, AMAG Thank you for joining us again today, Steve. The world we live in has certainly changed quite a bit since we first talked several years ago. Violence where we work and send our kids to schools, Covid, political unrest, natural disasters, and other issues are, unfortunately, headline news all the time.  In this environment, it’s truly an honor to speak with you once again. As a 27 year veteran of the FBI, you’ve seen it all. Before discussing Security Strategies Today services and capabilities in greater detail, please update our readers about your impressive background.

Steve Cocco:  Many know that I worked as a Special Agent and agent supervisor with the FBI for nearly three decades. I gained valuable experience in criminal investigations, counterterrorism and counterespionage as well as tactical experience required for the safe conduct of enforcement activities, such as arrests or search warrant execution. Well since we last spoke, I have continued my work on providing businesses, NGOs and individuals with detailed threat and vulnerability assessments and have incorporated new software and new assessment techniques to accommodate the large number of requests I get. I leverage the experience I obtained after 27 years in the FBI, particularly in the counterterorrism realm, to address the growing need in the private sector for comprehensive vulnerability studies on critical infrastructure. During my time with the FBI and particularly after the attacks of September 11, 2001, I gained significant experience in understanding the terrorist mindset but also in their operational capabilities and weaknesses. This has afforded me an advantage that other professionals in critical infrastructure protection may not have. Naturally, these assignments allowed me to develop substantial contacts overseas and to this day I continue to be in contact with many of them, who are quite helpful in covering international leads and obtaining information from overseas. Workplace violence is, unfortunately, it’s on the rise. Many American workers report having been victims of workplace violence each year. Unfortunately, many more cases go unreported.
We read with great interest on your site about Threat and Vulnerability Assessments ,

“You may think your environment is safe and secure, when you’re at your office, at work in a shopping mall, at school as a teacher or student or even at a medical appointment.  But, how do you know this?  Have you taken into account the physical surroundings, including access roads, doors, windows, locks and other barriers?  What about the threat from committed terrorists or from someone who would wait in silence in a dark area of your facility for a victim to approach?  If we work in a business that actively tries to draw in large crowds, such as a sports venue or hotel, then that business objective must be achieved taking into consideration multi-layered, effective security.

So, just how secure are your surroundings from these threats as well as others that can manifest themselves with no warning?  We’re not talking about the safety of the stairs or whether the glass on the windows is tempered.  We’re talking about viable escape routes should an explosive device detonate, a specific game plan for worker and guest protection, a designated safe haven, updated crisis management plans and an effective deterrent to mitigate the “insider” threat.  When, if ever, did your business or place of employment complete a multi-faceted vulnerability assessment, that is, a dedicated effort to identify threats from insiders and outsiders who would seek to inflict deliberate harm on the structure, its customers and/or its employees?” 

Please tell us more, Steve, about your capabilities in the area of workplace safety and active shooter training.

Steve Cocco: Every employer needs a workplace safety plan.These plans can save lives when a worst-case scenario takes place. Such scenarios can be a natural disaster, such as a major hurricane, tornado, earthquake or fire that devastates the workplace, displaces employees and threatens lives.

Workplace safety planning includes making sure each and every employee knows his or her role in a workplace emergency, is trained on basic or advanced crisis management techniques, knows about alternate work sites and knows how to communicate with a manager via alternate means of communication. It takes methodic planning and practice to get workplace safety plans right. Your workplace safety plans also need to be updated periodically, as personnel and roles change over time.

Unfortunately, sometimes the worst-case scenario is man-made, such as an act of violence at the workplace. Such acts of violence are not limited to an "active shooter" scenario, but increasingly that is what we see in the US. Most people do not know how to react during a sudden shooting nor do they recognize the warning signs of someone who may be heading down a path of violence. The active shooter training program starts out with a basic presentation of about 45 minutes. We subsequently offer a more advanced module for those who want to expand their knowledge and learn more detail regarding the history of the phenomenon in the US and overseas. If desired, we can include practice or mock scenarios in a safe, weapons-free training environment. Let’s talk about Private Investigations. One will read on your site,

“Security Strategies Today is authorized by the Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) to conduct private investigations within the state under license number 1655585. In addition, through our partnership with other agencies, we pursue investigative leads throughout the United States and in select foreign countries.

Whether you have been the victim of a get-rich-quick scheme, fraud, stolen identity, theft or misappropriation of assets, if you have been injured in an accident or as a result of medical malpractice, a trusted private investigator can be a crucial member of your team. An experienced PI gathers evidence, develops investigative leads, interviews witnesses and provides an investigative report with all the details you will rely upon in presenting your case in court. If you are the plaintiff in a lawsuit or have been named as a defendant, your private investigator works for you and has your interest in mind. Importantly, a good PI will often be recognized as an “expert witness” by courts at all levels and offers context and interpretation to investigative results.”

Care to elaborate, Steve?

Steve Cocco: Yes, our services are used by various Arizona law firms who are in need of identifying victims of crimes or other schemes as well as in assisting family members in identifying heirs and assets of deceased family members. Natural disasters from earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, wildfires and other events are also on the rise.  What are the services you provide, Steve, regarding Crisis Management?

Steve Cocco: Crisis management is an essential element to long-term business sustainability. It includes the planning, practice and eventual execution of plans to enable a business to get back up to at least partial operational status after a major, adverse event, such as a hurricane, fire or man-made disaster like a mass shooting. Crisis management training includes the essential protocols to follow in preparation for such an event and provides simulated scenarios so your team can practice key aspects. Travel Safety and Threat Awareness is also more important than ever before in today’s security climate. How do you help your clients, Steve, if they are considering travel for work or pleasure to a foreign destination?

Steve Cocco: Maintaining a sense of security and safety when travelling abroad is essential, whether you are on business or personal travel. Myriad threats can negatively impact your experience abroad and some may even land you in hot water with authorities or even worse, in a hospital. When planning a trip abroad, make sure you are educated on the countries you will visit; learn something about their legal system and find out how to obtain legal representation in-country should you need it. Additionally, you'll want to know how to avoid common scams targeting foreigners. Are there health risks to be aware of? What about food and water safety and what societal or official norms are in place regarding your rights? You may know that your country's embassy often maintains a list of local attorneys who provide legal representation to foreigners. What you may not know is that you are responsible for finding them and screening them. You also must rely on your own, personal funds to pay them.

With so much to consider, why not get a low-cost travel briefing from us before you depart? This concise summary will touch on these and other issues to be aware of when planning your trip. Any success stories or testimonials you care to mention, Steve ?

Steve Cocco: We have presented "active shooter" training on several occasions during 2022, both at a basic and at an intermediate level. In all cases, the training was well-received and led to additional inquiries. We have found out that in general, citizens are ill-prepared to survive such an event but with even some basic training, they felt a little more at ease and potentially more prepared. We understand that the Hispanic community is a particular area of focus for your business and that you are also engaged with international clients.  Please tell us more.

Steve Cocco: Our US Hispanic community is growing and is an integral part of our society. It's not that the community requires training in Spanish, as so many are US-born and speak English as their first language. However, a vast swath of Hispanics in the US are foreign-born and they often feel more at ease in receiving instruction and training in Spanish. It fosters a better understanding of the subject matter and creates a positive rapport. Our Hispanic clientele is growing and we appreciate the opportunity to serve the community. Care to mention any recent speaking engagements or upcoming events?

Steve Cocco: We of course will be in attendance for the eighth year in a row at the 2023 International Security Conference-West, to be held in Las Vegas in March. It is a great venue for meeting clients in person and for sharing our expertise. Look for our display once on site! again for joining us today, Steve, we look forward to more updates about your capabilities and services.

HP Banner