The Community Safety and Security Consultants Team brings over 150 years of combined service in military and law enforcement operations to accomplish and satisfy our client’s needs. Our safety and security consultant professionals provide leadership, tactical advice, and strategic development against a wide variety of unexpected variables. The team of highly-qualified professionals have experience in military and government operations, law enforcement, special emergency response tactics, fire & explosives investigations, incident command systems, school resource advocacy, advanced medical operations, and perimeter protection.

Meet the Founder:

Jerry L. Harper


Jerry L. Harper serves as President and founder of Community Safety & Security Consultants (CSSC) and oversees its core services: Safety Threat Assessments and Risk Vulnerability evaluations, Active Shooter and Situational Safety Training, Emergency Crisis Drills, Implementation/Updating Emergency Action/Operation Plans, and maintaining cooperative relations with local law enforcement and emergency responders. Jerry received his Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice and Administration from Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania prior to serving in the Persian Gulf War with the U.S. Army's 101st Airborne Division. Mr. Harper is a career security professional with more than twenty-three years of military and law enforcement experience. He has served as a security and explosives specialist in the U.S. Army, Patrol Supervisor, Criminal Investigator, and Fire and Arson Investigator. He is currently a Unit Supervisor with a large law enforcement agency in Pennsylvania, working within the Special Investigation Division. During his career, Jerry has been selected to provide safety and security at major events within the Commonwealth of PA, to include the National Governor’s Association meeting in Philadelphia, the Papal visit, as well as the U.S. Open. He has also monitored security operations at a Rolex U.S.A. facility in Pennsylvania and has attended numerous training opportunities across the country to prevent and respond to suicide and terrorist bombing incidents, as well as Understanding and Planning for School Emergency Incidents. He is also a certified instructor for Response to Active Shooting Events, and has a great interest in continuing to protect the lives of children, staff, and administrators in schools, corporate facilities and businesses across the country.

Director of Safety Operations

Christopher C. Ott

Safety/Security Specialist

As Director of Safety Operations for CSSC, Chris holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania, and brings more than twenty-one years of law enforcement experience providing safety and security services. His responsibilities have included Patrol, Executive Service-Dignitary Protection, Criminal Investigations, and Emergency Management Planning. Mr. Ott is a member of the Pennsylvania Incident Management Team and is the National Incident Management System Compliance Officer for his current agency. Chris has received extensive training in the area of Active Shooter program development, and has presented to hundreds of individuals in the public and private sectors. Chris is currently a supervisor for the Domestic Security Section of a large law enforcement agency in Pennsylvania, and is married with two teenage children. He is passionate about educating and protecting the lives of individuals in all facets of our communities throughout the country.

Director of Security Operations

Derek A. Koch

Safety/Security Specialist

As Director of Security Operations for CSSC, Derek holds both a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice and an Associates of Science degree in Business Administration from the Pennsylvania State University. Derek is also a graduate of the Northwestern University School of Police Command and Staff. Prior to becoming a police officer, Derek served as a county level probation officer and as a Lieutenant in the PA Army National Guard. Derek brings over twenty years of law enforcement experience in the areas of Patrol, Criminal Investigations, and Special Operations. Derek spent over thirteen years as a SWAT Team Operator, Training Officer, and Team Leader. As part of his tactical team trainer duties, he played an active role in training the members of his department to respond to active shooter incidents in schools. Derek has also been a firearms instructor for over seventeen years. Derek currently holds the rank of Lieutenant with a large police department in Pennsylvania and he serves his department as it’s Tactical Operations Section Commander. He is passionate about educating and protecting the lives of members of his community as well as the members of communities across the country.

Shawn M. Swarr

Safety/Security Consultant

Shawn Swarr holds an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Harrisburg Area Community College. Shawn brings over 20 years of law enforcement experience in the areas of Patrol, Criminal Investigations, and Criminal Intelligence. While working as an Intelligence Officer for his agency, he gathered and collected information on individuals who were considered to be a security threat to the public as well as to police officers. Shawn currently works in the capacity of a Training Instructor for a large police agency in Pennsylvania. His duties include training other police officers in the area of physical fitness and self-defense techniques. Shawn is dedicated to educating and protecting the lives of people in his community, as well as the communities throughout the country.

Matthew D. Johnston

Safety/Security Consultant

Matthew holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Gannon University, with a major in Criminal Justice and minor in Pre-Law. He has over twenty years of experience in Law Enforcement and is currently employed with a large police agency in Pennsylvania. Matt has dedicated his law enforcement experience to the patrol function, criminal investigations, and security risk assessments. During his time in the Domestic Security Section of his agency, Matt was a member of the Risk and Vulnerability Assessment Team and was responsible for conducting security risk assessments for schools, churches, private businesses, events, and critical infrastructure within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Matt is currently a Criminal Investigation Unit Supervisor, and is passionate about his profession and is dedicated to ensuring the safety and security of those in his community.

PETE G. SHEPPARD safety and security consultant for community safety and security keeping communities safe

Pete G. Sheppard

Safety/Security Consultant

Pete Sheppard holds both a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Penn State University. Pete brings over twenty-two years of law enforcement experience serving as a patrol officer, school resource officer, and currently serves as a detective with a police agency in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. During his experience as a school resource officer, Pete conducted numerous risk and threat analysis assessments on educational institutions, and has presented educational information on school safety topics to administrators and students. Pete is dedicated to protecting the lives and ensuring the safety of those in his community, as well as across the country.

Michael J. Gerace

Safety/Security Consultant

Michael is a military and law enforcement professional with over 31 years of combined service. He is currently a Sergeant with the Lancaster City Bureau of Police, supervising the Special Services Section of the Department. Michael brings an array of experience and expertise to the CSSC team and has served as a K-9 Handler, Squad Leader - Special Emergency Response Team, Criminal Investigator, and Crime Scene Examiner. During his career, he has become a certified trainer/instructor on leadership tactics, K-9 handling, as well as B.L.S. and Stop the Bleed medical instruction. Michael continues to serve his community by participating and lecturing on topics related to active shooter incidents, as well as hostage rescue and high-risk situations. He is passionate and committed to continuing to protect and serve the citizens in his community and country against acts of violence.

Sara Baxter

Safety/Risk Management Consultant

Sara brings an array of experience and expertise to the CSSC team in the area of Occupational Health and Safety. As a military veteran, she previously served in the Ohio Army National Guard as a Military Police Officer for 7 years and was awarded several commendations for her service overseas. For the past several years, Sara has specialized in crafting and instituting new safety policies and training for organizations. She has assisted with risk management, environmental health, safety, and security for all types of facilities and its employees. She is an OSHA certified trainer and workplace safety expert. Sara is passionate about assisting clients with reducing injury claims while increasing employee productivity to create a positive, safety-centered work culture for all.

Jason Valudes

Client Services Safety and Security

Jason works in Client Services and with our team of Safety and Security Consultants in conveying CSSC's message of preparedness, safety, and security to all businesses, organizations, and individuals in our communities. Jason specializes in establishing and maintaining working relationships with new and existing clients, by identifying and communicating updated safety and security training and services specific to our client’s needs. He believes in leadership, preparation, and the importance of training and educating our communities with experienced law enforcement officials. Jason attended Shippensburg University, and completed a summer internship with a company which granted him a security clearance to work inside the walls of the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia. He worked a few years in NYC and eventually settled in the DC area and worked as a licensed Residential Real Estate Agent in Virginia and Washington DC for many years, prior to becoming licensed in Pennsylvania. Jason has excellent communication skills and takes pride in great customer service and ensuring that all of our clients safety and security needs are being met. He is dedicated and committed to ensuring that safety and security education and training becomes an integral part of everyone’s lives, to increase life-safety measures against any unexpected threats in our communities and around our country.

Jaca White

Client Services Specialist

Jaca White has enjoyed a lifelong career in the advertising field, guiding Human Resources professionals with cost effective, research-based employee recruitment solutions. She joins CSSC with a passion for law enforcement and safety, channeled greatly through pride in her own family members who actively serve in the military and hold responsibilities involving workplace security. A native of North Carolina, Jaca calls Lancaster County home and supports a variety of businesses and non-profits with creative marketing and volunteer work. She is dedicated to sharing education and information to help increase life-safety for all, while building and establishing professional relationships along the way.

Kim A. Harper

Conference/Training Coordinator

Kim is CSSC’s co-founder, and a nursing professional of 30 years. She specializes in the coordination of events and training for CSSC, and also shares in the role of public relations and reputation management for the expanding company. She and Jerry have a blended family of 4 children together.

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A word from our clients

“As a professional within the field of safety, I highly recommend CSSCs unique approach to Active Shooter Resistance Training…every organization should have this education to better protect those they are responsible for .” - Michael Cuff, President of Cuff Safety & Compliance Management

“Jerry is one of the best speakers in the area of safety and security that I have come across…his life experiences along with his innate ability to present in an organized and professional manner (complex material) to an audience on many levels is what sets him apart!” - Lou Rocco, President of Global Sourcing International

“Anyone that entrusts CSSC will be in good hands with such an extremely qualified individual at the helm." - Ted Gallagher, EHC Associates