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Surviving The Tough Times

Dayton, Ohio, has seen a lot of ups and downs over the years. The city is more than a survivor as businesses find a way to keep their doors open, and today, even attract some very interesting tech firms.

What the city does have are companies that weather economic storms and continue to prevail. Celebrating 100 years of business, Copp Systems is one example. While security wasn’t part of its business in 1920, the company has taken a leading role in several security verticals, including healthcare, military, transportation, government, campus and aviation security.

Nineteen years ago, Bill DeFries moved to Dayton to take leadership of the company that has become fully immersed in the security industry. Take a look at the arithmetic that has made the past 100 years so memorable.

The company has kept making a splash the past half century. In 1920, Stanley Roy Copp opened his company by working on and repairing radios. Following military service, he returned to Dayton and became fully immersed as a repair center for AC Delco radios and public address systems at NCR.

By the 1960s, Copp Systems moved closer to security by becoming involved in low voltage systems. In 1970, they jumped into fire alarms and access control. Fire alarms are still a large part of what they do, just having completed a renovation of the fire system at Stratacache Tower, formerly known as Kettering Tower.

The 1980s were a turning point for Copp Systems and the security business. Company officials jumped headlong into their roles as security integrators. Part of the offerings include Wanderguard wristbands for memory care patients. The solution is onsight cameras that will lock down a facility if a patient nears an exit. Copp Systems also scored some terrific contracts in healthcare, including the Dayton and Cleveland VA Medical Centers.

“We’ve stayed ahead of the economic curve with our integrated solutions and offering excellent customer service,” DeFries said. “We also picked and identified strong verticals that we wanted to excel in service, such as crime databases where we have a software solution that aggregates crime information that is usable in real time.”

For a company that started with four employees, and currently has more than 40, it’s been a long and successful ride. Happy birthday Copp Systems.

This article originally appeared in the March 2020 issue of Security Today.

About the Author

Ralph C. Jensen is the Publisher of Security Today magazine.

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