Subscribe to RSS - Universal Protection Service

Universal Protection Service

Guards 'n robots

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Guard provider Universal Protection Service announced late last week that it will offer what it's calling robot "Machine as a Service" to its customers. I guess that's a new acronym for the security industry--RMaaS?

It will use robots from Knightscope, based in Mountain View, Calif. RMaaS is available to Universal customers in Northern California now, and they'll be available in Southern California in September. Universal says it will roll out the program nationally in 2017.

Want to check out the robots in person? Universal and Knightscope are hosting a launch party on July 28 in Mountain View that will feature demos and a factory tour. To RSVP, email

I saw a Knightscope robot last spring when I was at Northland Control's Fremont, Calif.-offices. I was talking on my cell phone outside and was mildly startled when I noticed a robot quietly circling the parking lot. It was super stealth and even kind of graceful. Robots have come a long way since Lost in Space. Remember this?

Universal will use Knightscope's K5 and K3 robot models. "Both models offer a physical presence as a strong crime deterrent, real-time video and audio, and a human interface. The K5 model is designed for outdoor applications such as parking lots and campuses, while the K3 is designed for indoor security at such facilities as office towers, warehouses, distribution centers and data centers," according to a Universal news release.

In a prepared statement, Ty Richmond, Universal Services of America president, systems and technology, said: "Customers require situational awareness to make informed decisions and autonomous mobile machines and devices provide another level of intelligence to accomplish that task. The partnership with Knightscope enables Universal to take an industry leading role in this new service arena."

Universal security officers will be trained and certified to work with the robots.

William Santana Li, chairman and CEO for Knightscope, said in a statement: "The world is going to change more in the next five years than the last 50 years combined. Knightscope has built one of the most important technologies coming out of Silicon Valley and we are proud to be working in concert with Universal by integrating with existing security programs while providing new revolutionary capabilities to clients."

Universal was in the news in May when it announced a merger agreement with AlliedBarton. The two will form AlliedUniversal in a $4.5 billion deal. The deal is expected to close in Q3.

Universal buys Guardsmark to form largest US-owned guard firm


SANTA ANA, Calif.—With the July 28 announcement of its acquisition of guard firm Guardsmark, Universal Protection Service is now the largest U.S.-owned guard firm.

Universal Protection Security Systems acquires, expanding its capabilities


SANTA ANA, Calif.—Universal Protection Security Systems has announced the acquisition of video security services provider THRIVE Intelligence—allowing Universal Protection Security Systems to expand its surveillance offerings.

Universal announces acquisition, new executive position


SANTA ANA, Calif.—Universal Protection Service, one of the nation’s largest security guard providers which also does some security integration is growing.

UPS security officer helps deliver baby


SAN DIEGO—Juan Delgado, a transit systems security officer employed by Universal Protection Service, found himself applying his emergency training skills to help a women deliver

Universal expands reach in Southeast

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Guard company and security systems integrator Universal Protection Service announced the purchase of Allegiance Security Group from Trivest Partners, LP.

Allegiance has a big presence in the Southeast and provides "sensitive sites as a U.S. General Services Administration (GSA)-approved vendor for the federal government," according to a statement.

"With the acquisition of Allegiance, Universal Protection Service now becomes one of the largest manned security providers in the Southeast," said Steve Jones, Co-CEO and COO of Universal Services of America, in a statement.  He said the purchase will allow Universal "to deliver additional services and increased value to all of our clients located throughout the Midwest and Southeast." It also brings Universal into new states, including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

In a statement, Brian Cescolini, chairman and Co-CEO of Universal Services of America, parent company of Universal saidl  "In addition to the government sector, the company also has premium clients throughout the U.S., which will add to our existing infrastructure and build our density strategy in all of our operational branches."

Universal Protection Service says it's the fifth largest security company and the largest private security firm in the U.S. Universal Protection Service is a division of Universal Services of America, which includes Universal Building Maintenance, Universal Protection Security Systems and Universal Fire/Life Safety Services.

UPS acquires CastleGuard Security


SANTA ANA, Calif.—Universal Protection Service, a provider of security services based here, announced recently the acquisition of CastleGuard Security, a security company servicing the Miami-Fort Lauderdale region, according to a UPS press release.

UPS acquires A&R

Acquisition makes UPS fifth-largest security company in nation

SANTA ANA, Calif.—Guard and security installation company Universal Protection Service announced this week it has acquired A&R Security Services Inc., one of the largest privately owned and operated guard providers in the Midwest.

Guard/security installation company acquires guard-tracking technology

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Yesterday Universal Protection, a $500 million guard company that also does security installation, acquired Heritage Security Services of San Diego. It also acquired a guard-tracking technology its CEO says is "game changing."

The deal brings 1,200 guards, but more interesting, it also brings with it a “proprietary and patented guard-tracking technology.” This is what really drew Universal into the deal, Steve Jones, co-CEO and COO of Universal Services of America, the parent company of Universal Protection, told me today.

He said that Heritage spent $6 million over the past five years developing this technology. Jones said Universal plans to introduce this technology in all of its locations

“Basically each officer carries a device and we can … put a geofence around the account. So we can tell where the guards are. [We know] if they go outside the fence, if they’re not doing what they’re supposed to be doing, if they haven’t completed a task they’re supposed to do,” Jones explained. “We can take a customer account and show the customer point-by-point, minute-by-minute, where an officer was,” he said.

“And we get an alert if the officer fails to do something.”
 Jones said Universal will use the technology across its footprint “as a differentiator” initially, but there has been discussion of possibly “licensing it to guard companies who are in markets we are not in.”

The acquisition of Heritage makes Universal the dominant player in San Diego, LA and Orange County, he said. “From a Southern California standpoint, Universal has a commanding marketshare.”

In March, I wrote a story about Universal Protection in which Jones told me that Universal wants to have security installation capabilities (which are currently concentrated in California and the Carolinas) in every market where it has guards.

The company acquired SFI, and integration business last fall.   Jones said the company plans to complete another acquisition, which may include a security integration component, by the end of the summer.

“Stay tuned,” he said.

Guard deal in California

Monday, March 12, 2012

Guard company Universal Protection Service, which is based in Santa Ana, Calif., and made a major acquisition this past fall when it acquired SFI
made another, smaller acquisition. It acquired Silver Shield Security, based in San Jose, Calif. UPS, the company announced on March 7.

Robert H. Perry & Associates, initiated and managed the deal for Silver Shield.

I’ll be talking to UPS parent company, Universal Services of America, this week, but in a prepared statement, Brian Cescolini, chairman and co-CEO of Universal Services of America said the “addition of Silver Shield Security will make us a formable presence in that [Silicon Valley] marketplace, servicing many of the large dot-com companies, and our national presence will enable us to expand our contracts with many of the largest companies in the U.S.”

Universal Protection Service says it’s the 6th largest security company in the U.S. and the 4th largest U.S.-owned security organization. It is a division of Universal Services of America, which includes Universal Building Maintenance, Universal Protection Security Systems, Universal Fire/Life Safety Services, Security Forces LLC and SFI Electronics.
Founded in 1965, Universal Services of America combines an innovative mix of tradition with cutting edge systems and technology to keep is headquartered in Santa Ana, Calif., with offices located throughout Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Washington.