Meridian K9 Division

Meridian K9 Division Ensures Safer Workplace

According to the National Safety Council, workplace drug use costs employees not only their health and safety, it also levies a significant financial burden on employers. Meridian’s K9 Division does more than narcotic and explosives detection, it helps ensure a safe workplace for our clients.

Here are two stories from just the last week:

On Tuesday, Nov 13, Officer Sarah Ahrens and K9 Beau of Meridian’s K9 Division conducted a routine patrol in the south parking lot of a project site. K9 Beau alerted on a vehicle to the possible presence of illicit substances. Upon searching the vehicle it was discovered that the vehicle contained a large amount of marijuana and possible controlled prescription medication, including a digital scale. On-site security and State Police confirmed and apprehended the driver of the vehicle. 
On Thursday, Nov 15, Officer Ahrens and K9 Beau conducted a routine patrol of a parking lot of the same project site. After approximately 30 minutes of searching the area, K9 Beau alerted on a vehicle prompting a search. When the driver of the vehicle arrived to observe the search the driver of the suspected vehicle confirmed illicit drugs had been used in the vehicle, however, the driver admitted the use was by his nephew who he claimed uses marijuana.
Officer Ahrens and K9 Beau’s success on the LACC project site provides a clear and substantial deterrent to the use and presence of illicit substances on the site. This shows a direct impact on the safety and security of the workforce on-site. Congratulations to Officer Ahrens and K9 Beau of Meridian’s K9 division for your exceptional service to our clients.

Who Needs HAZWOPER 40?

Any personnel involved in the cleanup and restoration of contaminated sites, including managers, must have the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 40 Hour HAZWOPER Training (HAZWOPER 40) certification.

OSHA saw the need to provide protection specifically for workers and developed HAZWOPER based on existing Department of Defense (DoD) guidance, with further input from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the U.S. Coast Guard. It is a health and safety standard designed to train workers to be safe while they perform chemical response actions; it is not designed to train on specific technical response activities such as plugging chemical leaks or spill remediation.

In general terms, HAZWOPER training is needed if workers are to be:

  • Exposed to high concentrations of poisonous substances
  • Exposed to chemical conditions that pose a fire or explosion hazard
  • Entering sites with atmospheres at or above IDLH levels
  • Exposed to oxygen deficient atmospheres (less than 19.5% oxygen)
  • Leading evacuations due to chemical atmospheres or oxygen deficient conditions
  • Performing confined space entry
  • Supervising workers exposed to any of the above dangers

Examples of professionals who need HAZWOPER training are:

  • Environmental clean up
  • Marine spill response
  • Truck Drivers with Haz Endorsement
  • Emergency Response
  • Civil Service
  • Plant workers
Because of the possibility of needing to interact with hazardous materials and situations, OSHA recommends First Responders including Law Enforcement Officers and Firefighters have at minimum a working awareness of HAZWOPER and, “the role of the first responder awareness individual in an employer’s emergency response plan including site security and control and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Emergency Response Guidebook.”

Meridian is pleased to offer a 40-hour Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER) course across the Southeast United States.

To learn more about whether or not you and your organization need HAZWOPER 40 training, contact Meridian at (251) 345-6776 or by sending an email to


The Meridian Difference

Harnessing the Meridian Difference During the LNG and Oil Boom

The United States is in the middle of a fossil fuels renaissance right now, and Meridian is setting the standard for accountability and excellence in protecting our critical energy infrastructure.

Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) and more traditional fuel sources such as oil are leading the way.

Over the next year the U.S. is projected to become the world’s largest producer of oil, seizing the mantle for the first time in more than 40 years.

US on pace for Oil Production. Experience the Meridian Difference.

Technological innovations such as hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, and the discovery of vast LNG deposits have contributed to this boom. In addition to the inherent national security advantages, it also means exceptional opportunities for American companies and consumers.

With this rapid expansion, however, there is also an expansion in threats being faced by LNG and Oil companies.

Physical Security

From site security to risk management, asset protection to intelligent security software, oil and gas refineries, pipelines, and drilling centers are critical infrastructure that have and will continue to be threatened. Whether those threats are in the form of cyber attacks, protests that get out of hand, or simply thieves looking for an easy target, Meridian has the personnel, expertise, and insight to keep American energy producers protected.

Corporate Security

Oil and gas executives are often targets, and their safety and security should be taken seriously. Meridian conducts intelligence operations, compiles risk assessment and vulnerability reports, and develops business continuity plans.


Supply chains rule the world. Energy is what makes them keep humming along. From material tracking and asset management, to subcontractor vetting and loss prevention, Meridian has the tools and personnel in place to ensure the ride from Point A to Point B is a smooth one, no matter the product.

The Meridian Difference

At the end of the day, people and processes make the difference. With Meridian we believe these factors above any other are what makes us more reliable, efficient, and effective than any other security company in America.

In addition to being a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned business, more than 85% of Meridian employees and operators are veterans. Almost all those who aren’t veterans are former Law Enforcement Officers. Meridian’s veterans use the standards and processes they learned in the military to develop commercial applicability, providing a safer and more secure environment for our clients.

Meridian is Service-Disabled veteran-owned, veteran run, and veteran operated and holds several accreditations such as BS EN ISO 9001:2015, BS ISO 28000:2007, with ISO 28007-1:2015. We have been vetted by numerous clients and international standards auditors. However, Meridian’s proprietary processes are what make it excel. Our processes are what make our team want to work for Meridian.

Another example of the Meridian Difference is tracking data at all levels. Meridian’s proprietary technology produces a large amount of data, enabling Meridian’s management to continually analyze and determine where there are opportunities for improvement. Meridian is constantly identifying areas to improve. When the data reflects that Meridian is operating at 97% correct Risk Assessments, Meridian’s management is pushing the personnel to ask them why it is not 100%. Meridian believes in developing metrics that allow for continual monitoring and improvement. Meridian believes in a hybrid of the brilliance in the basics and former New York City Mayor Rudolf Giuliani’s broken window theory—if you let even the smallest thing slide, you are setting yourself up for failure down the road.

For More Information on the Meridian Difference

Contact Vice President Jason Wilbur at Phone: (337) 515-5833

An infographic demonstrating the Meridian Difference

Vessel, Company, & Facility Security Officer Course Approved by the US Coast Guard

Jonathan McConnell
(334) 524-6763


Safety, Security, and Environmental company is proud to announce the latest way it will serve new and existing clients with the Coast Guard approval of a new Vessel Company and Security Officer Course.

The CSO and VSO sections of the course fulfills the training requirements of 33 CFR 104.210 for Company Security Officer and the training requirements of 33 CFR 104.215 for an STCW endorsement as a Vessel Security Officer, as well as the competencies of the STCW Code as amended 2010, Table A-VI/5.

Likewise, the FSO section of the course meets the standards of competence provided in 33 CFR 105.205, International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS) Part A/2.1.8, ISPS Code Part 1/17, and International Maritime Organization (IMO) Port Facility Security Officer (PFSO) (2015 Edition). Though there are currently no Coast Guard regulations governing FSO course approval, Meridian’s course meets domestic and international standards.

“Meridian is pleased to have this service in order to allow Meridian to train our VSOs in house, as well as the capability to offer this course to our clients in the Gulf Coast Community,” said Meridian President Jonathan McConnell.

To sign up for Meridian’s VSO, CSO, and FSO courses contact Jonathan McConnell at or call the Gulf Coast office at (334) 524-6763

Meridian.US Receives Veteran Institute for Procurement GROW Certification


Meridian recently completed the Veteran Institute Procurement (VIP) GROW Program, a comprehensive training and certification program that helps veteran-owned businesses strengthen their ability to win government contracts and do business with both military and civilian agencies they once served in uniform.

On March 22, 2018, Meridian was one of 50 businesses from 18 states to graduate from the Veteran Institute for Procurement (VIP) GROW Program. A special reception was also held to celebrate the 1000th VIP Graduate of the program. Sponsors, partners, alumni, federal, state, and local government representatives, and prime government contractors were present to celebrate the achievement of this notable milestone.

“Meridian was honored to participate in the VIP GROW program. We are thankful for the opportunity to learn with fellow veterans how to ensure we provide the best services to our clients,” said Meridian President Jonathan McConnell

The first program of its kind in the nation, VIP GROW is conducted by professional subject-matter specialists in the essentials necessary to win government contracts: law, accounting, insurance, human resources, marketing and proposals. It also provides participants with access to Federal and prime contracting executives along with a national network of veteran owned small businesses that they can team with on opportunities.

Since its launch in 2009, VIP GROW has helped 727 service-disabled and veteran-owned small businesses grow.  A survey of 378 of the program’s graduates reported that they increased their revenue by an average of 54% within their first year of graduating the Institute. More than 82% of surveyed graduates credited VIP GROW for equipping them to make recent business decisions and avoid unseen pitfalls. Additionally, veteran-owned businesses are more likely to hire, mentor and train other war veterans as they transition to private life, which is a national priority.

“We are honored to give back to the men and women who served our country by providing them with the tools necessary to succeed as government contractors.” said Barbara Ashe, President of the Montgomery County Chamber Community Foundation. “We hope this training fosters their success as businesses and employers.”

VIP GROW is a three-day, 27-hour comprehensive certification program. Participants must be a C-level leader in a Veteran-owned small business operating for at least two years with a minimum of 3 full time employees, and experience working on government contracts as a prime and/or sub-contractor to a prime. With volunteer instructors and at no cost to participants, VIP GROW is fully funded by the Montgomery County Chamber Community Foundation, partners, and VIP sponsors.

For information on Meridian:  Jason Wilbur, 337-515-5833;
For information on VIP: Barbara Ashe, 301-738-0015 x215;
For additional information, please visit or the Montgomery County Chamber Community Foundation.

Meridian President Attends CERA Week as a Future Energy Leader

By Jonathan McConnell, President

I was honored to attend CERA Week from March 5-9th as a Future Energy Leader. It has led to some incredibly unique experiences and great dialogue with leaders from BP, Halliburton, Emerson, and numerous others.

CERA Week by IHS Markit’s annual symposium has become the world’s premier energy event where industry leaders gather to learn “critical knowledge and independent analysis on energy markets, geopolitics, industry trends, technology and strategy.”

I can’t sum up all the content in one post and to even attempt it would do no justice to the immense amount of incredible information I’ve gathered this week in Houston. But here are a few key takeaways:

1. Globalization

Don’t view globalization as a threat, but as an opportunity.

2. Find ways to succeed in adverse conditions

The Oil & Gas industry used a downturn in the market to become more efficient and to persevere despite tough economic conditions, finding ways to make oil sustainable at $50 a barrel as opposed to $100 a barrel.

Poor market conditions create opportunity to create efficiency.

3. Workforce Development

If the U.S. wants to continue to grow, we must continue to develop our workforce. Not everyone needs to go to college. Skilled labor is a must and encouraging trade schools and appropriate immigration balance is key.

4. Leadership

Lastly, a company is going to follow the personality of its leadership. Invest in people. Put family and health first. Never be afraid to change your mind. Be humble and never stop learning. Putting people at the center of your operation will lead to better outcomes, both for your employees and your clients.

Meridian is already a leader in providing customized, scalable security services to energy companies around the world. As the global energy market changes and evolves, so will we. We specialize in transoceanic energy transportation security and LNG physical site security, as well as cyber security and natural disaster response.

To learn more about how Meridian can help your company plan to succeed in the ever changing landscape of energy development, contact our headquarters at or (251) 345-6776.

Semper Fi,

Jonathan McConnell


Meridian is Now an Approved USCG Subchapter M TPO Services Provider

February 2, 2018 – The U.S. Coast Guard has approved Meridian to conduct independent verifications of towing vessels or their Towing Safety Management Systems (TSMSs) comply with applicable requirements contained in Title 46 Subchapter M. Meridian is authorized to:
  • Conduct audits of a TSMS, and the vessels to which the TSMS applies, to verify compliance with the applicable provisions of Subchapter M;
  •  Issue TSMS certificates to the owner or managing operator who complies with 46 CFR Part 138;
  • Conduct surveys of towing vessels to verify compliance with the applicable provisions of 46 CFR Subchapter M; and
  •  Issue survey reports detailing the results of surveys, carried out in compliance with 46 CFR Part 137.
For more information on Meridian Third Party Organization services, please contact Captain Hung Nguyen at (808) 282-4981

Meridian’s Newest Service: Towing Vessel Safety Management System

Towing Vessel Safety Management System

January 3, 2018 – On June 20, 2016, the Coast Guard published Title 46 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Subchapter M – Towing Vessels. In complying with the new regulations, owners and managing operators have two options: (1) Towing Safety Management System (TSMS) Option, and (2) Coast Guard Option.

Regardless of which option an owner or operator chooses, Meridian is ready to assist with readiness assessment and compliance preparation. We can support the following activities:

  1. TSMS Development and Implementation
  2. Internal Audits
  3. Vessel Survey
  4. Incident Investigation
  5. Management Review Support
  6. Designated Person

To order, please contact (808) 282-4981 or

Other Meridian Services and Products

Meridian Announces New Security Officer Training Course Announces New Security officer (CSO-VSO-FSO) training Course

This 2-day course is designed to support qualifications of:

  • Company Security Officer
  • Vessel Security Officer
  • Facility Security Officer

It meets the requirements of:

  • Title 33 Code of Federal Regulations Chapter I Subchapter H
  • International Ship and Port Facility Security Code
  • International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers
  • Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2010

The course is taught by former senior regulators and industry security personnel.

Course Topics

  • Maritime Security Awareness
  • Security Organization
  • Risk Based Decision-Making
  • Risk Assessment (vessel / facility)
  • Security Plan Development
    (vessel / facility)
  • Sensitive Security Information
  • Amendments and Audits
  • Drill and Exercise Requirements
  • Recordkeeping Requirements
  • Inspections and Searches
  • Response Management

For more information or to schedule training, please contact Zac Schlarb at 904-638-1353 or