Surviving The Tough Times
- By Ralph C. Jensen
- Mar 01, 2020
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
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.
Ralph C. Jensen is editor-in-chief of Security Today magazine.