Industry group honors Cumberland's security head

Cumberland’s head of security is making a name for himself in the security industry. Private Officer International, an organization serving the private security community and law enforcement, recently awarded Mike Thornhill the organization’s 2012 Founders Award for his work to...
Nov 30, 2012
 Photo: Sara McManamy-Johnson

Private Officer International recently awarded Mike Thornhill, director of security at Cumberland, the organization's 2012 Founder's Award.

Cumberland’s head of security is making a name for himself in the security industry.

Private Officer International, an organization serving the private security community and law enforcement, recently awarded Mike Thornhill the organization’s 2012 Founders Award for his work toward growing the organization in Tennessee.

Thornhill, director of security for Cumberland University, helped found the Nashville chapter of POI in April. There are now 30 members of the chapter, and the chapter actively reaches out to members and potential members through social media.

Thornhill discovered POI when he decided to advance his skill set.

“I was hungry for more training,” said Thornhill. 

While investigating resources on the Internet, Thornhill discovered POI and began listening to radio broadcasts by the organization’s founder, Rick McCann.

The organization fit Thornhill’s needs, so he joined and soon became a lifetime member.

To Thornhill, the training offered by POI is a key benefit of the organization.

“In the state of Tennessee, to be an unarmed security officer, all you have to do is have 8 hours of training,” said Thornhill. “A police officer goes through about 400-plus.”

POI helps fill that gap by offering training and seminars for members.

“Every other month, we have a guest speaker,” said Thornhill. “The months we don’t have a guest speaker, we have training.”

Training offered has included active shooter, report writing and laws.

“(Security officers) need to know the legalities, because if they don’t approach the situation in the right manner, they can be arrested for breaking the law, just like anybody else,” said Thornhill.

Additionally, security officers face safety hazards. This year alone, 98 security officers have been killed in Tennessee, according to Thornhill. POI also offers assistance to families of security officers and law enforcement officers killed or injured on the job.

“It doesn’t matter if they’re a member of our organization or not,” said Thornhill. “I just want security officers to know that we’re here for them.”

For more information about POI, call 615-839-4278 or email poinashville@mail.com.

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