Spectrum Security Services, Inc. (Spectrum) is a corporation based in California which focuses upon providing high quality detention, transportation and security services to the federal government.  Spectrum also provides a variety of other services which may be tailored to the specific needs of a federal agency.  Spectrum has many years of experience in achieving a wide variety of regulatory objectives and standards for numerous and varied contracting agencies.  Spectrum’s successful history of achieving and often exceeding federal standards is based upon four basic pillars: our experience gained over nearly two decades from a variety of federal contracts, our focus upon having a high quality officer corps, our focus upon having a well-formed set of principles, policies and protocols, and, lastly, our dedication to having a strong and meaningful mission statement which we continually seek to improve with respect to implementation.

Spectrum was founded in 1989 in the San Francisco Bay Area by Mr. Sam Ersan.  Mr. Ersan wanted to found a company that provided high-quality services to the federal government that would be based upon high ethical standards.  This was important to him because of his belief in the importance of ethics in both the public and the private spheres. Spectrum is a company that rests upon the point at which these two spheres touch - a private company with very public responsibilities.  The three main values that Spectrum seeks to strengthen in all of its officers as well as to build into its principles, policies and protocols are duty, integrity and respect.  These three virtues are of great public value.

Through many years of hard work and focus, Spectrum has now grown into a company with well over 300 officers and administrative personnel.  In 1999 Spectrum relocated its central office from the Bay Area to San Diego as a consequence of a substantial increase in business in Southern California.  After the attacks upon the World Trade Center in New York City on September 11, 2001, Spectrum again went through a period of rapid growth.  Spectrum now has nearly two decades of sustained, strong and systematic growth which has allowed the company to ever more effectively achieve its basic strategic mission.

Sustained, strong and systematic growth could not have been achieved without a commitment to a long term plan; this plan, as briefly noted above, is dependant upon four basic pillars: (i.) learning from experience; (ii.) strengthening our officer corps; (iii.) maintaining our core principles, policies and protocols with, when necessary, sufficient adaptation to changing conditions; and (iv.) focusing the company and its officers upon its basic strategic mission:

I.  Experience

Since 1989 Spectrum has provided a variety of services to an increasing array of federal departments and agencies.  When the company was first formed, these services tended to focus upon those of a security nature.  Transportation services were soon added and, with the move to San Diego, detention services became an increasingly key division within the company.  Prior to the attacks upon the World Trade Center, Spectrum worked heavily with the Department of Justice and its various agencies.  After the attacks and with the creation of the new Department of Homeland Security, Spectrum came to work extensively with its various agencies.  A partial list of these federal institutions would include: the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS), the Bureau of Prisons (BOP), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the Immigration Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE), Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), and the U.S. Postal Inspection Services (USPIS).

Spectrum has transported over 20,000 prisoners and detainees as well as provided security services for over 50,000 prisoners and detainees in over 168 different medical and therapeutic facilities.  The complexities of conducting our three services in these different environments, in which a variety of governmental, professional and administrative personnel interact, present challenges on a daily basis. 

II.  Officer Corps

We are very proud of our officers.  Spectrum has a set of hiring principles and policies which help us to bring into our company men and women who meet our high standards.  These standards involve personal virtues as well as qualifications related to experience, education, and technical training.  Spectrum also has a set of retention policies which allow the company to keep personnel who have proven themselves worthy and capable of helping the company to achieve its basic mission.  Spectrum also has a set of educational and training policies which help our officers to develop in directions and at rates which further help Spectrum to more effectively achieve its basic mission.  In any institution where duty, respect and integrity are core virtues, the importance of the officer corps cannot be underestimated.  A highly qualitative and continually improving officer corps is a pillar of utmost importance to our company.

III.  Principles, Policies, and Protocols

One of the key methods of facilitating our officers’ development is through educational and technical training programs.  Behind these programs is, of course, the necessity of having a solid set of principles, policies, and protocols which are worth transferring to our officers.  Accordingly, Spectrum has worked very hard to develop, maintain, and adapt these principles, policies and protocols to our business.  These three elements are at the heart of our educational and training programs.  These elements may be understood as a vertical arrangement of rules from the more abstract to the less abstract.  Two other elements, furthermore, may be added to these three, i.e., values and standards.  Accordingly, in order from most abstract to most immediate are: values, principles, policies, protocols, and standards.  This vertical organization of rules has two effects upon Spectrum’s capacity to achieve its basic mission: (a.) it allows what might be considered a rather extensive and intensive set of complicated rules to be taught with relative efficiency and simplicity; and (b.) it allows the officer to understand why and how conditions interface with rules.  In other words, officers can better understand when rules must absolutely be followed and when, because of unexpected conditions, the following of a rule will in fact lead to a suboptimal result.  This requires the officer to think for him or her self as well as follow a set of “emergency” protocols in order to achieve more optimal result in the face of such circumstances.

IV.  Mission

The basic strategic mission is far more significant than is often assumed.  It is the basic mission that is the organizing principle for the company and all of its personnel.  It is the single statement of purpose which, if properly conveyed to all members of the organization, binds its members together.  It provides the shared understanding of what the institution is and why it is that.  It is the one statement which brings the many parts together into a coherent and unified whole.  The mission statement must be considered thoughtfully, written and structured with great care, promulgated and taught to everyone with energy and a clear understanding as to what it means and why it is meaningful.  Only then can the core values – duty, respect, and integrity – with all of their subsequent principles, policies, protocols and standards, be properly transmitted into every Spectrum officer.  The mission clarifies and translates a myriad of critical ideas in such a way as to integrate our company and propel it forward. The Spectrum mission is to provide high-quality detention, transportation and security services to the federal government in a manner that consistently achieves high operational and ethical standards, especially with respect to the virtues of duty, respect and integrity.

Spectrum's basic strategic mission is to provide high-quality detention, transportation and security services to the federal government in a manner that consistently achieves high operational and ethical standards, especially with respect to the virtues of duty, respect and integrity. In order to fulfill this mission, it is necessary to be dedicated to an ethical vision of how these services ought to be practiced. Though there are many factors involved in Spectrum's success, we believe it is especially critical to discuss the nature and role which the mission statement plays in the overall success of Spectrum in this industry.

The three values central to the Spectrum mission are duty, respect, and integrity. Though it would not be difficult to name a host of others which are implicit to this mission, we believe it is generally sufficient to focus upon these basic three in order to convey the general structure and foundation of our company. Nevertheless, before discussing these basic three values, some discussion of other values will be helpful in framing their introduction. Safety is of the most obvious importance to our mission, and though it is implicit to all of our services, it is still perhaps just below the level of significance of the primary three. The value of honor might be considered in a similar way, very important though to a somewhat lesser degree to the main three values. One has but to consider what it means for a private company to work alongside major public institutions in order to understand why honor is relevant. Though Spectrum is a private company, its location so close to the federal government requires it, in terms of the company itself and its many officers, to possess and exhibit the same sorts of virtues that are so very relevant and critical to direct public service itself.

Just as there are many important values below the level of significance of our main three, so too are there values above their level of significance. Two in particular are worth mentioning - justice and liberty. As these two values are of such universal importance, they are not directly necessary to Spectrum's mission. Yet, though not immediately necessary, they are nevertheless related and, indeed, of genuine importance. This is once again due to the location that Spectrum occupies relative to its major contracting agencies, a location on the line between the public and private spheres. Because Spectrum provides services to federal institutions, especially the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security, it should be fairly clear that the values of justice and liberty are a part of our basic mission, even if at a higher level of significance. Whereas justice is fundamentally related to the Department of Justice's mission, the Department of Homeland Security's mission is necessarily related to the twin values of security/liberty.

The value of liberty is essential to what it means to be an American. Though "liberty" means many things to many people, its essence involves the common understanding that individuals ought to have the right to be free to think and behave, to the extent possible, in ways which they believe important. Though one can think of many necessary and important limitations upon liberty, its essence remains central to the American experience. Spectrum, as a private corporation providing detention, transportation, and security services to the federal government for prisoner/detainees, occupies an important position within the U.S. criminal justice system. Justice is not always an easy concept to understand. There are many theories of justice. These theories become very real and very meaningful when discussing an actual prisoner/detainee held within the U.S. criminal justice system.

Every Spectrum officer understands the special location occupied by Spectrum in this system. This requires an appreciation of values basic to the criminal justice system. This is true not only for those values of a higher level of significance - e.g., justice and liberty - as well as those of a slightly lesser level - e.g., safety and honor - but also for those which we believe most directly and meaningfully focus upon it - i.e., duty, respect, and integrity. It is the iconic figure of Benjamin Franklin that brings to mind many of these greater and lesser virtues. Franklin's inventiveness and intellect, his public service, his duty to the idea of America that he exhibited through his governmental and diplomatic service, were just of few of the aspects which make him a brilliant example these virtues, especially duty, respect and integrity.

Implementation of our Mission

Although leadership is a critical component of how we take this vision and turn it into something real in practice, it is necessary that our officers understand this vision because it is these officers who will, in the end, be the keys to its success. The Spectrum officer must understand this vision. The officer must also be committed to its values and principles. The officer must have the technical skills necessary in order to accomplish this mission. Accordingly, education and training are fundamental to Spectrum's basic mission.

Spectrum's education and training program are specifically designed to promote greater theoretical and practical understanding of the problems and situations which may confront the employee. Naturally, great care is taken to train officers in how to prevent problems from arising. However, unexpected things do happen. With that in mind, an educational program which helps officers to think abstractly through hypothetical situations is of obvious importance. By the repeated discussion of a wide range of problems and their respective solutions, the officer can learn to think through unforeseen problems.

At the core of a successful educational and training program is solid organization. It is much easier for officers to learn and internalize the rather vast array of relevant materials when that material is clearly organized.

Spectrum's vision and mission are, of course, related to the five vertical components of its educational and training programs; these five components are: values, principles, policies, protocols and standards. The most specific of these, i.e., standards, are founded upon the next higher order component. In is in this way that our values - Duty, Respect, Integrity - underpin all Spectrum principles, policies, protocols, and standards. This is not to say, as noted earlier, that other values are significant. It is also not to say that values do not sometimes conflict with one another. Values inevitably conflict with one another and there is always a give and take between values of a comparable level of significance. Nevertheless, the recognition of these two problems - (1) a non exhaustive definition of basic values and (2) inevitable values conflicts - simply points to the fact that Spectrum has carefully considered the sophisticated relationships between practical and theoretical concerns. We have worked hard to develop doctrines which are sufficiently adaptive to solve changing real world situations.

The successful implementation of our mission - i.e., to provide high-quality detention, transportation and security services to the federal government in a manner that consistently achieves high operational and ethical standards, especially with respect to the virtues of duty, respect and integrity - is of inestimable importance to our company. Though it is never easy to promote such a vision in the private sector, we believe it is an objective which is as necessary as it is worthwhile.

Duty, respect and integrity are values of great importance in both pubic and private life. By accepting a position in a relationship, one not only takes upon oneself certain rights but also certain obligations or duties. For example, when one becomes a father, one assumes certain rights related to fatherhood as well as certain duties. Thomas Jefferson identified the fundamental importance of rights and obligations in the Declaration of Independence. By accepting a position within the private sector servicing the federal government, Spectrum has an ethical duty to treat this position with seriousness and responsibility. Similarly, when an officer becomes a Spectrum employee, that officer has accepted a position wherein he or she has a duty to understand and promote Spectrum's basic mission and vision. 

Respect is our second key value. Respect is a basic human right. All peoples, regardless of their position in life or personal identity, deserve to have their humanity respected by others. Though often tempting, disrespecting another person's humanity will neither lead to a better state of affairs nor make oneself a better person. The industry in which Spectrum operates brings many different kinds of people together. Federal officers, Spectrum officers, medical personnel, hospital administrators, and federal detainee/prisoners are all brought together in our business environment. Conflicts will often arise between one or more of these many parties, yet these conflicts can be minimized and brought under control by always believing in and manifesting a respect for others.

Integrity is our third basic value. Integrity involves being resolute in one's approach to a vision. It also involves remaining unified in its pursuit. It is of course possible to have an ethical vision which, though written on paper, is not, in fact, practiced. Such a statement has neither value nor meaning. At Spectrum we believe in our mission and strongly encourage all of our officers and administrators to understand and put into practice our commitment to our mission. By working on creating a shared vision for all personnel, we at Spectrum can continually work against divisiveness and for the integrated achievement of our basic mission.

These three values - Duty, Respect, and Integrity - must be specified in order for them to be successfully implemented. They must be specified because otherwise they remain far too abstract and unworkable; accordingly, our three first principles are:

First Principle: Just as It is the duty of Spectrum to deliberate upon and then promulgate a set of ethical and effective policies which are designed to achieve Spectrum's basic mission, so too it is the duty of all Spectrum officers to know and understand these policies. It is the right of the officer to have open access to these policies as well as to have input into their creation. Spectrum has the right to expect its officers, because they have decided to accept a position with the company, to help it fulfill its strategic mission. Spectrum has a duty to all officers. Officers have a duty to Spectrum. This reciprocal relationship of rights and duties is the basis of our first principle.

Second Principle: The Spectrum Officer will always respect others regardless of their physical, ethnic, genetic, religious, sexual, or political identities. This list of features should not be considered exhaustive as there are as many ways of thinking of identity as their are humans. That said, these features represent the core of basic identity features requiring recognition. Given the diversity of the United States population and the fact that Spectrum confronts this growing diversity in different ways every day, it is very important that officers give appropriate and due respect to others, whether federal officers, doctors, nurses, hospital administrators and, of course, prisoner/detainees. Although there will be times when showing respect to prisoner/detainees will try the patience of the officer, there can be no exceptions to this principle. All officers must be respectful of all others' basic humanity.

Third Principle: Although Spectrum is a company comprised of different parts (i.e., regular officers, operational supervisors, central office administrators and, of course, its executive officers), it is necessary that these many and diverse parts remain committed to working with one another with the idea of keeping Spectrum an integrated or unified corporation. The many members of Spectrum must recognize the importance of working together and continually seek to improve communications and agreement within the company. A good executive will always listen to others. A good officer will always listen to his or her supervisors. So too, a good officer will speak up when he or she believes there is a statement worth making, a good executive will speak up whether there is a problem or a commendation that should to be made.