A Conversation with Drew Levine
G4S Secure Solutions USA is the relatively new name for
a well-known company many know as Wackenhut, a successful
provider of manned security services. Along with
the new name comes a broader focus for the growing
company, to include not only manned security services
but also the element of technology, which continues to
change the practice of security. We spoke to Drew Levine,
president of G4S Secure Solutions, about how the company
is broadening its approach, which includes acquisitions
and internal product development.
Q. How do you see the industry changing, and how
is G4S Secure Solutions adapting?
A. The industry is clearly moving away from
separate products, and even multiple systems,
and toward a single security solution that includes all
areas and operations of an enterprise. There may be
multiple elements of such a system, but in the end,
they must interconnect and interact. You see convergence
of products and services being offered by various
manufacturers and providers, and open systems
also can help you get there.
But concentrating on just the technology components
misses an important variable in how systems
operate: the human element. Even beyond interoperable
products, companies need dependable and attentive
security personnel to ensure that a system works
as it was intended.
We have a Custom Protection Officer program
that attracts the most qualified professionals in the
security industry, who must meet strict experience requirements
and are provided training that goes well
beyond industry standards. This is one reason our
custom protection officers are uniquely qualified to
perform their jobs, across all sectors, but particularly
in the government space. We are the only company
in the industry that is shifting our focus to consider
the broader needs of security to include both technology
and manpower. Our security officers come
from accomplished backgrounds in law enforcement
and military service. With their superior professionalism,
they adapt quickly to new technology such as
our Secure Trax PLUS or One Facility Video Management
System, making them an integral part of the
overall manpower-technology solution.
Q. How are you expanding into the technology
A. We are keenly aware of the importance of
technology in making security officers more
productive. That will only increase in the future, when
security officers will be equipped with more technology
to serve as a force multiplier, as well as a productivity
tool. Technology can extend and enhance protection
beyond what a security officer can accomplish
acting alone. It can impact a business’ risk factors in
a positive way.
Our Secure Trax PLUS fully interactive software
platform connects G4S officers, the command center
and an enterprise’s customized secure business intelligence
portal. Its all-in-one software provides a range
of customizable security solutions to detect, alert, dispatch,
respond to and verify events in real time.
Capturing information electronically, the system
eliminates paperwork and provides historical data to
enable security managers to assign resources based on
business intelligence and trend analysis. It’s a great
example of what it means to focus on manpower and
technology, which is where the greatest cost efficiencies
and enhanced productivity can be gained.
Continuing advances in technologies, such as wireless
and analytics, will enable security officers to do
more with less. They will have access to more information,
by way of handheld devices. The information
must be presented in a way that is understandable and
actionable, and their interface with systems should be
as simple as possible.
Q. What market segments are most important to
A. Wackenhut has historically been active in a lot
of different vertical markets. We believe our
new emphasis on integrated security solutions that
encompass both manpower and technology has a lot
of resonance in the corporate market, where the approach
to security and risk is broad and strategic. We
also are active in law enforcement, government, education,
transportation, residential, facilities management
and numerous other vertical segments.
Our acquisition of Nuclear Security Services Corp.
further extends our presence in the nuclear power and
other regulated industries. We are active with the Society
of Chemical Manufacturers and Associates and
exhibited at their summit in Baltimore on chemical
security, infrastructure protection and the impact of
Chemical Facility Anti-terrorism Standards.
Q. Tell us about G4S’ offering in the law enforcement
A. Our Custom Protection Officer Program, with
its superior security officer requirements and
training, can augment the government services sector
and function as a unique solution in and of itself. We
can identify security-related duties currently being
performed by sworn law enforcement personnel and
deliver a contract program to perform those duties.
This helps police and sheriff’s departments across
the country slash budgets and work within limited
resources. Examples include transporting prisoners,
courthouse security and parking enforcement.
This article originally appeared in the September 2010 issue of Security Today.