Bios


Darren and Beth Laur


Darren and Beth


Darren and Beth Laur live in Victoria British Columbia Canada with their son Brandon. Darren , also known as "The White Hatter",  has dedicated his life to public safety, and is a recently retired and highly respected Staff Sergeant with the Victoria City Police Department with over 29 years of law enforcement experience, and is a Certified Advanced Open Source Intelligence / Social Media Investigator with a strong interest/background in on-line and social media investigations. Darren is an internationally court recognized safety and workplace violence prevention expert/advocate, award winning published author and highly sought after international keynote speaker, who specializes in the area of personal safety and self protection both on-line and off-line. To date, Darren and Beth have presented their Internet and Social Media Safety programs to over 360 Schools, 325,000 Jr and Sr secondary students, and to thousands of teachers and parents throughout British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and the United States, and both are a trusted and respected safety resource to businesses, government, schools, school districts and Law Enforcement in North America. 


Recently, working with others in his police department, Darren helped launch the very successful use of Social Media (Twitter) for the purpose of crowd sourcing, event safety and police call response during the 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 Canada Day celebrations in Victoria; a first use of its kind in North American policing. 


Darren is also a Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist and Neuro Linguistic Psychology (NLP) practitioner, and integrates these studies and disciplines into all PPS programs and presentations. When Darren is not working or presenting, he loves to spend time reading, getting involved in web design, playing on his Mac and travelling with Beth.


Achievements:


  • Darren and Beth have written over 170 internationally published articles and four books on the topics of personal safety, one of those books, "Total Awareness A Woman's Safety Book",  won a major award.


  • In May 2013 Darren, Beth and Brandon also won the prestigious Social Media "Derek K Miller" Award, which recognized their unique work in the area of Internet and Social Media Safety both in Canada and the United States.


  • In 2014, the Governor General of Canada appointed Darren a Member of the Canadian Order of Merit, a very prestigious national award recognizing exceptional merit and contributions to not only his policing career and his community service, but also recognized Darren's work with youth in both online and offline safety.


  • In early 2015 Darren and Beth were awarded the very prestigious British Columbia Community Achievement Award for their work with teens in the area of Social Media and Internet safety. 


  • In October 2015 Darren also received the 2015 Telus Outstanding Canadian Police Officer/Program Award; a National award that recognizes individuals, programs or organizations that have made a significant impact towards keeping Canadians safer online.


Darren and Beth are very proud of the fact that their company also financially supports two Not-For-Profit organizations in British Columbia that are dedicated to helping youth when it comes to bullying and suicide prevention; NEED2 and Bullying Ends Here.  One of Darren's and Beth's foundational beliefs , "We are a for profit company, striving to do well, by doing good things for others in our community.” 


Darren, Beth and Brandon have been featured in numerous radio and television broadcasts, publications and media articles as experts on the topics of personal safety, workplace violence prevention, child safety and social media/Internet safety, some of which can be located here. Beth oversees and runs the company as our Chief Executive Officer, while Darren (Chief Learning Officer) and Brandon (Chief  Technology officer) facilitate all company programs, or as Beth jokingly says, "She's the brains behind the company, Darren and Brandon are the presentation brawn.”




Brandon Laur


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Brandon Laur is a master’s student at Royal Roads University, specializing in professional communication. His bachelor degree is in Sociology, with a minor in Technology and Society. Brandon's background is a varied assortment of academic studies and professional work placements.  His profession and passion is functioning as a cybersecurity specialist and privacy advocate. Brandon has been employed with the family business for the last 12 years starting all the way back to when he was ten years old assisting with lectures that thoroughly educated students on approaches to remain safe on the school-grounds and in the community. Since May 2013, Brandon has been operating in a management position that oversees special project developments and is currently administrating and contributing to the corporate blog that provides clients and public visitors relevant security information. In grade 9, with all the technological advancements at the time, Brandon began experimenting with the white hat hacker culture. It was then that the company began offering educational services to address some of the concerns Brandon had been discovering. Today, cybersecurity and privacy is the primary focus of the business, largely in part due to Brandon’s interests and research. Now, Brandon’s primary occupational role as our Chief Technology Officer is a diverse variety of responsibilities in the online security field. Brandon overlooks operational and logistical aspects of Personal Protection Systems technological assets. Brandon also actively facilitates educational programs designed for students from all ages, parents, senior citizens, and business professionals. In addition to these responsibilities, Brandon is continuing to receive training in Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) to use in conjunction with his security background.

 

Brandon’s other passion is studying interpersonal communication through digital mediums. Academically, Brandon recognized a need to adopt the social sciences in the analysis of security, not just solely relying on computer sciences and engineering. In Brandon’s experience, cybersecurity is not all about firewalls and antiviruses. A considerable part of security and privacy is the human and social factor, including the communication components of security, both proactive and reactive. From a privacy standpoint, communication is the sole element in that field of study, from policy analysis to the implementation of systems that mediate private communication. Without communication, these issues would not exist. Recent research projects that Brandon has participated in include social norm development in virtual environments, digital biopower, internet addiction, disinhibition, technological vulnerabilities in the medical industry, and social network capital.

 

Brandon’s real world experience as a young adult using social media and the internet has played a major role in the development of all internet and social media safety programs offered through the family company, Personal Protection Systems.


In February 2017 The BC Government & Radius SFU awarded Brandon, with the 2017 BC Social Innovations Youth Award for his work and advocacy with youth, tweens, teens and adults in the areas of Social Media Safety and Digital Literacy 



Chris Spargo


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Chris brings a diverse and uniquely professional background to Personal Protection Systems, and will be the lead instructor for all of our workplace violence prevention safety programs.  As a police officer with over 26 years of experience, including 16 years with the Emergency Response Team (SWAT), Chris has been in a lead training role since 1998, where he has trained all levels of police service, from reserve constables to seasoned SWAT members, commanders, senior managers, school boards and government workers.   Chris is very well respected for his teaching and presentation skills, both inside and outside of policing, at both a local and provincial level.


Chris has known Darren for close to 30 years, and the uniqueness of that relationship, specific to training, is why we are so excited to have Chris on board. Chris is truly passionate about personal safety, and believes training should be realistic and relevant.  This makes Chris the perfect choice to continue the high training standards set out by our company.  Chris utilizes a direct and honest approach to training, including using humour and real world experiences to deliver his safety message.  Chris strives to make training enjoyable and memorable, and his wide breadth of experiences creates an environment that allows clients to learn from both his mistakes, and proven successes.


Chris has an extensive background in coaching various sports, especially football, where he coached at every local level. Chris has 3 children and in his spare time, he likes to stay active by doing yoga, hiking or going to the gym. To be honest however, when Chris has some down time, he will often be found somewhere on a local golf course with his friends, enjoying a game that he loves.

 

 

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