Security firm salutes local law enforcement

Karl Dear, assistant training director at Golden Seal Enterprises, discusses different firearm training scenarios for area law enforcement at their training facility in Winchester on Friday. Rich Cooley/Daily

WINCHESTER – Frank Phillips, president and CEO of Golden Seal Enterprises, welcomed about 50 law enforcement officials to his business Friday for a full schedule of events saluting their work at a time of deepening public fears of terrorism and other violence.

Phillips’ purpose was easily discernable by the name he gave the event: Law Enforcement Appreciation Day. The name was taken from a national initiative scheduled for Saturday during which participants are asked to wear blue clothing in support of law enforcement, send a card of appreciation to a local law enforcement agency or simply thank a police officer in person.

Phillips said he got the idea for his own version of Law Enforcement Appreciation Day months ago after he was unsettled by numerous accusations of police misconduct in deadly shootings of unarmed civilians around the nation.

“Last October, I got up one morning and heard more negative news, more negative press about our law enforcement officers and, unfortunately in this day and age, they’re getting a lot of negative publicity,” Phillips said. “I said you know what, we know our community, we know our law enforcement officers, and I want to dedicate a day to show our appreciation of them.”

Phillips organized a pair of free demonstrations at the Golden Seal shooting range offering instruction in shooting under stress and in darkened environments. Several local law enforcement officials also spoke at the event in praise of the training their agencies have received through Golden Seal.

Much of Golden Seal’s business last year came from an estimated 2,000 law enforcement officials from around the nation who attended one or more training sessions last year, Phillips said.

But one of the biggest bursts of activity has come from customers seeking training to qualify for concealed carry permits.

“That is just going through the roof right now,” Phillips said of the demand for gun permit training.

The other big growth area has been from companies hiring extra security to deal with possible trouble when employees are being terminated or facing what Phillips called “internal processes” stemming from job-related grudges. Other companies are adding security for such seemingly innocuous events as the showing of the latest “Star Wars” movie.

“They want armed private security protection hidden within a venue so if something would present itself as a problem that it could be covered,” Phillips said.

Flickering violence at home and abroad means more demand for services such as those that Golden Seal and other private security firms are offering.

“People are becoming more fearful these days,” Phillips said. “It’s coming home to our land. It’s not just overseas anymore.”

Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or jbeck@nvdaily.com