Basil Anthony Bewry is a graduate of Wolmer’s Boys’ High School and the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and the CEO of Forensic Polygraph Services. Unlike most, his earning of a Certified Protection Professional (CPP) on September 10, 2000 at the ASIS International Seminar & Exhibits Show in Orlando, Florida, actually predates his membership with ASIS International and credits his success to the late Donald Williams, CPP who at the time was the first and only Jamaican to be Board Certified in Security Management. Although Basil was a regular attendee at chapter meetings at the Liguanea Club and had served unofficially as Treasurer in 2004 it, however, was not until April 15, 2005 that he eventually joined the American Society for Industrial Security, as it was known then.
He evidently did a good job as Treasurer as in addition to being the recipient of the Chairman’s Award at the Annual Awards Banquet on November 27, 2004 for his contribution to the local chapter, he was also elected Chapter Chairman at the AGM. As a result of the vim, vigor and vitality that he brought to this 30-year old organization, he was subsequently re-elected Chapter Chairman in 2006, 2007 and 2008 before handing over the mantle to Capt. John Richards, CPP, PSP in 2009 and 2010 and Andrew Wynter, CPP, PSP in 2011. During this hiatus, he however, continued to serve on the Board Management Committee (BMC) in one capacity or another. It was following the appointment of Andrew Wynter as Assistant Regional Vice President (ARVP) in 2012, that Basil was once again elected Chairman a position he would hold until 2019.
As early as 2006 Capt. Bewry had introduced the chapter’s CPP Study Course and the extremely popular PSP Study Course in 2007 which from 2013 has enjoyed pride of place on the chapter’s training program. As a result of PSP Study Course’s 7 continuous years of operation this flagship program has been instrumental in enabling 43 persons to earn their Physical Security Professional (PSP) certification and has the enviable record of achieving a 60% success rate. Basil too benefitted from its scholarly presentations and credits it on him passing the PSP exam on May 2, 2015. Having previously earned his Professional Certified Investigator (PCI) designation on November 1, 2014, he became Jamaica’s second Triple Certificant following John Richards who had achieved this noteworthy feat 6 months earlier.
Due to Basil’s passion for improving the professionalism of the local security industry, the chapter has at present 11 CPPs, 12 PCIs, 30 PSPs and 7 Triple Certificants. With 35 of its members holding at least one board certification the chapter is considered one of the most decorated in ASIS International. In recognition for advancing the goals of their certification program, the Professional Certification Board of ASIS International awarded Capt. Bewry a Certificate of Appreciation at the Annual Seminar & Exhibits Show in Orlando, Florida on September 13, 2016. He was also the recipient of the 2018 Meritorious Service Award on September 24, 2018 for fostering a spirit of goodwill and professionalism within ASIS International.
These accomplishments would not have been possible without the services of his long-standing Certification Chairperson, John Richards and the unwavering support of Ada Ausberry and Lisa Currie of the ASIS Certification Department. It was Ada who facilitated the hosting of the ASIS certification exams in Jamaica in 2006 and Lisa who saw to the upgrading of the Paper and Pencil Test (PPT) to the Internet Based Test (IBT) on May 4, 2019. Although Basil can take credit for laying a sound foundation, however, he is the first to admit that he owes much of his success to a group of volunteer leaders led by Capt. Garth Gray, CPP, PCI, PSP known affectionately as his Dream Team.
It is said that success breeds success and under Basil’s stewardship the number of persons joining the chapter has steadily grown from a membership of 46 in 2005 to 107 in 2019. With 41 new members joining in 2017 alone the chapter enjoyed the singular distinction of having the highest percentage increase of all of the 234 chapters in ASIS International for that particular year. This was also matched in 2019 with 46 new members and coupled with a retention rate of 83%, the Jamaica Chapter became the largest chapter in Region 7B. Notwithstanding the deleterious impact that COVID-19 is having on people’s lives and livelihood, the chapter continues to attract new talent and is currently 125 strong and growing. Capt. Bewry also takes pride in the fact that during his tenure the chapter has ceased to be a seen as an “Old Males’ Club” and had opened its doors to females and young professionals long before it became fashionable.
Having previously attended the John E. Reid & Associates Course in Advanced Investigative Interviews & Interrogation in Miami, Florida in 2001, Basil is particularly proud of having hosted their world renown courses in Jamaica on May 16 - 19, 2017 and June 3 – 6, 2019 which not only enabled over 140 persons to be trained in their investigative interviewing techniques but allowed the chapter to add over US$13,600 to its bank accounts. This windfall allowed the chapter to register 24 persons to the Global Security Exchange in Chicago on September 8-12, 2019 and was by far our largest and most impactful delegation.
Among the things which Capt. Bewry attributes for the chapter’s unqualified success has been his unrelenting drive to be relevant and structured, to highlight the positive and a willingness to try something new.
As a result, he not only ensured that chapter meetings were hosted on the last Thursday of each month but arranged for high profile and interesting guest speakers. This in turn encouraged attendance and allowed certified members the opportunity to earn CPE credits. He has also sought to lead by example and made it his duty to being on time and has the distinction of having never missed a chapter meeting during his years as Chapter Chairman. He also leveraged the new technology by introducing Zoom for his BMC meeting in February 2019 and live streamed PSP classes via Wiz IQ in 2015 long before COVID-19.
Although the staging of the chapter’s Annual Awards Banquet actually predates Basil’s service, he however is responsible for raising the bar to that of a must attend social event where we not only recognize persons who have given yeoman service but celebrate security officers whose acts of bravery would have otherwise gone unheralded. Among the many distinguished guest speakers who have recently attended our banquet is the President of the Private Sector of Jamaica, the Hon Howard Mitchell, OJ; the Chief of Defence Staff, Lieutenant General Rocky Meade, CD. ADC, JP, PhD and the Director of Public Prosecution, Miss Paula Llewelyn, QC.
Another of his bold initiatives has been the chapter’s Public Private Partnerships with the Private Security Regulation Authority (PSRA) and the country’s premier training agency, HEART Trust. These relationships have been particularly fruitful and a source of much bragging rights. He was instrumental in bring down ASIS International President, Jeff Spivey, CPP to be the key-note speaker at a 2-day Security Seminar in Kingston, Jamaica on March 27-28, 2006 that was successfully staged by the chapter in conjunction with PSRA. He has also established an enviable rapport with Suzanne Scarlett, PSP of the HEART Trust which allowed the chapter to optimize its marketing dollars by providing the requisite knowledge based experts for 2 Active Shooter Forums and 2 National Debating Competitions on security related moots within the last 4 years and benefitted from media coverage and reach which we otherwise could not afford. It is as a direct result of our national exposure why the chapter was invited last year to have a seat on the country’s Joint Interagency Operations Group (JIOG). This advisory body is tasked to bring together the multiple law enforcement agencies for greater intelligence sharing and security awareness.
The increased visibility of the chapter on the national scene has been achieved by Capt. Bewry’s emphasis on promoting these hard-earned gains. In addition to embracing social networking sites such as WhatsApp and Telegram, he also oversaw the relaunching of our chapter website, www.jachapter.org and the introduction of our newsletter which he named, “The Informer” in an effort to change the word’s negative connotation. In addition to these platforms he still maintains a close and fraternal relation with the country’s newspapers and the Security Management magazine so as to ensure that the chapter’s achievements receive the widest possible coverage. Clearly his hard work, leadership and dedication has paid off as he was invited to speak at the Chapter Leaders’ Open House on February 26, 2020 on the tips to hosting good chapter meetings and events.
Notwithstanding his 12 years at the helm of this august body had it not been for the introduction of term limits by ASIS President- Elect Godfried Hendriks, CPP, Basil was widely expected to serve a 9th consecutive term as had shown no signs of slowing down. He, however, was the first to point out that the hallmark of a true leader is their ability to build institutional capacity and as such he was supremely confident that his successor, Warren Smith, CPP, PCI, PSP was more than capable of taking the chapter to even greater heights as evidenced by the fact that the chapter’s membership has ballooned to 125 already. Basil like President Godfried believes that term limits are healthy for an organization and that regular turnover in leadership allows for more members to serve in a managerial capacity which in turn improves overall membership retention.
For those of you who had a tinge of mixed feelings with the change in leadership, he has been quick to share a quote from Omar Khayyam which says, “The moving finger writes and having writ moves on, nor all thy piety nor wit shall lure it back to cancel half a line, nor all thy tears wash out a word of it.” As an alumnus of RMA Sandhurst and Wolmer’s Boys’ School, he can unreservedly say that he has exemplified their mottos of “Serve to Lead” and “Age Quod Agis” (do what you are doing: concentrate on the task at hand). Needless to say, Capt. Bewry has not gone far as he continues to serve on the BMC as the chapter’s Program Chairperson.