Force Security: Audio and video verification essential

DC-based commercial security company grows with verified systems
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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

MANASSAS, Va.—Force Security president Ken Kocher is a former cop who believes audio and video verification are essential elements of an effective security system.

“If a customer doesn’t want a verified system, we walk away,” Kocher told Security Systems News. If a potential customer insists on an intrusion-only system, “I make them sign a waiver that says they understand this is only a reactive system,” he said.

Less than one percent of Kocher’s customers opt for the intrusion-only system, he said.  

Kocher classifies commercial security systems without audio and video verification as “reactive systems. And what are you really paying for with a reactive system? A false sense of security,” he said.

Kocher founded Force Security, based here, in 2003. Working in law enforcement he saw that most alarms were false, and for that reason, they receive very low priority. Verified alarms, on the other hand, will receive higher priority because there’s a greater chance that a crime will be prevented or an arrest made.

Because of false alarms and overburdened police forces, Kocher believes that eventually nonresponse will become the norm.

Force Security has 15 employees and does business—all commercial and government work, although no bid work—in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area.

He also does some service work in the D.C. area for The Protection Bureau. Kocher said that Protection Bureau president Matthew Ladd has been a “professional mentor who has helped guide me [as I built this business.]”  

While Kocher does not release revenue figures, he said business has been growing steadily since the lean years of 2008 and 2009, and so far 2014 is the best year on record.

“We are looking to hire,” he said.

Force Security has standardized certain products to assemble what he calls a customized best-of-breed system. He uses DMP for intrusion, saying, “they have an incredibly well built system and they stand behind their products.”

He uses Mobotix cameras, which all have built-in two-way audio. “That’s not typical on your average IP camera,” he said. “Most don’t allow you to speak through every camera [installed in] a facility.” Force also does access and fire.

For monitoring, Force Security uses Dynamark because of their expertise with video verification, he said.

Kocher is proud that Force Security was chosen to secure the Security Industry Association offices. Right now, Force Security is working on a major project for EPL Archives, the largest medical archive facility in the U.S. It includes 26 access control readers, 500 alarm points, water, flood and fire detection and 16 Mobotix cameras.

RMR is a “significant piece of our revenue,” Kocher said. The RMR is derived from monitoring and support plans that are included with every installation; managed access control in some cases; and add-ons such as the apps that all Force Security customers have that allow them to remotely look in on and control their systems.