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Orlando, Florida, November 2013-Sgt. Marcus Camacho recently earned the Certified Lodging Security Director (CLSD) designation from the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (EI) and was awarded his certificate and lapel pin during an Orange County Sheriff's Office, Florida Agency Awards Ceremony - recognizing excellence. Camacho is the first law enforcement official to earn this prestigious certification, which was originally created for security personnel working in hotels. Camacho's work with Orlando-area hotels and attractions through tourism-oriented policing services (TOPS) made pursuing the hospitality certification a logical extension of his professional development. 

The certification was presented to Camacho by Sheriff Jerry Demings and EI's Director of Certification Chalese Wright in conjunction with recognition of Camacho's work with the Orange County Sheriff's Office Tourism Oriented Policing Sectors (TOPS). The CLSD certification involves the individual passing a 150-question examination that covers topics such as the legal system; security planning; operational policies and procedures; investigating and reporting; and crisis management and emergency response within the context of hospitality operations. 

"I've spent 17 years of my career working in the tourism district, and I've dealt with many issues of security and the hotel industry," said Camacho, who shares his industry-specific security research and best practices through law enforcement bulletins sent to a national mailing list of subscribers. "As I do presentations to law enforcement about global threats to the lodging industry, the CLSD will give me even greater credibility." 

Camacho noted that the CLSD exam was challenging, but definitely worthwhile. 

"Tourism is dynamic, but very different from other areas of law enforcement," he said. "It's important to be able to use the right hospitality and tourism terminology and to realize the sensitivity of certain issues when working with the hospitality industry.  The CLSD provides that background." 

Tourism-oriented policing services began in Florida in the mid-1990s, when law enforcement officers formed into specialized units whose sole responsibility was to protect and assist tourists. Law enforcement personnel in these tourism-oriented units undergo additional training in understanding the sociology and psychology of tourists, as well as the economic impact of tourism. The concept has since expanded from Florida to top U.S. destinations as well as global tourism sites. The National Sheriffs' Association offers training in this area through its Institute for Leadership and Tourism Policing

Eric Clay, MSc, CLSD, complex director of security services for Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort, served as the proctor for Camacho's CLSD exam, and has worked with him for a number of years. 

"I believe this certification will provide Marcus with a broader understanding of our industry and will benefit us by allowing him to see things from a lodging security perspective," said Clay.  "I definitely think a CLSD would be a worthwhile endeavor for any law enforcement professional who works in a tourism setting." 

For information on EI's professional certifications, visit www.ahlei.org/certification

About American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute

Established in 1953 as a nonprofit educational foundation of the American Hotel & Lodging Association, the Educational Institute's mission is to continue being the preferred provider to the lodging industry, hospitality schools, and related hospitality industries by developing and providing quality resources to train, educate, and certify hospitality professionals worldwide.

Contact: Elizabeth Johnson, Senior Public Relations & Marketing Manager

ejohnson@ahla.com / 517-318-2359

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