30 Years of reflection in Security
June 4, 2013
30 Years of reflection in Security
On this date in 1983 at 1045 AM I started my career in the security field. It has been a long road these past 30 years. I’ve seen many things change that I didn’t think would ever change.
And much to the surprise and chagrin of many of my former managers I’ve been right about a great many things I tried to change back then. And the worst part is that they’ve been proven wrong in what they were doing!
I started off with a company most of you will not remember, Wells Fargo Guard Services. That was in St. Joseph, Mo. The managers name was Gary Stephens. He was fired for fraud soon after and was followed by 8 more managers over the next 12 ½ years.
I went from a lowly security ‘guard’ to a site supervisor, strike Captain/coordinator (which became my specialty – 22 of them in 8 years), to Field Operations Supervisor. I was demoted, promoted, demoted, and humiliated more than a few times. Stabbed in the back for trying to better the officers and supervisors and finally shoved off to the side and forced to quit.
I did meet a couple of good friends there, including my oldest friend in the profession. Jerry Ramos started for Wells Fargo a few years before me. He is now the Director of Strategic Recruiting/Military Liaison for Allied-Barton. And my experience with Allied isn’t a reflection on Jerry since he didn’t start for them until long after I left in 1998.
I started there in 1996 and became a Client Services Coordinator, a fancy term for a field supervisor in a suit, and then onto being an Operations Supervisor, aka scheduler. While I was there, they were bought by Spectraguard and the name changed. And then changed back again.
The stories I could tell about the major client and the corruption between my Branch Manager, the Account Manager, and the client contact! Ghosting employees, paying officers who weren’t licensed or even there and then fudging time sheets to ensure coverage wasn’t lost (read money and the account, which happened shortly after I left). I kept my mouth shut and was rewarded by being demoted and told to find another job.
I was then brought back and made a ‘trouble-shooter’. I turned around and saved 3 accounts from cancellation, except one which was already lost when I went there. Then I was rewarded by being lied to and fired for making a mistake.
I floated around for a few years until I caught on with my best job ever. First Response, Inc. in Mission, Kansas. Scott Carmony owns it and brought me in a Field Operations Supervisor. Both he and Jeff Taylor let me do the things I was best at, which means I enjoyed that job immensely!
I got to write (I started a company newsletter, post orders for all 30 accounts, training manuals, and all kinds of other innumerable stuff – thanks to Mindy for editing all of it), teach (orientation and supervisory classes), drive around and be with the security officers talking and coaching, consulting (I did several surveys, sat in on meetings, helped plan strategy for clients, and etc.), and bust my butt to get the job done, right!. I got to try and improve every aspect of the company and its officers.
Then I moved to Phoenix and went blind 6 weeks later. It took a few years to get over the anger and settle myself down and accept it, which I haven’t exactly accepted the limitations, just the fact I can’t see. I started my first company in 2006 and made a few bucks.
In 2008 it went under, just like the economy. I kept plugging and in 2012 I started Today’s Training LLC in which Sollars Security Shield is a part of. My name is out there and I’ve done a bit. In these past 30 years I’ve been fortunate in several ways. I’ve worked for some bad managers, which showed me the wrong (or right) way to manage. And the good managers I worked for showed me how to refine my managerial skills to be better. I’ve written 2 books, more than 70 articles, twice weekly blog, and more than 120 media appearances since I started. I’ve made many good friends and lost a few. Jerry Ramos, Mindy Mitzner, Ryan Eldridge, Dave Rabern, & too many to mention. All I can say is that I’m looking forward to the next 30 years!
Need to take advantage of 30 years of security experience? Call Robert at 480-251-5197 or see the website at
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