LANCASTER, Pa. — Security Partners, a wholesale monitoring firm based here, will migrate its facilities to a single automation platform and seek to become a national provider after acquiring Mace Central Station of Anaheim, Calif.
The deal in late December for Mace CS extends Security Partners’ footprint further west, following its purchase of San Antonio-based Response Center USA in August. Adding a third central station will allow Security Partners to create a national monitoring solution with true redundancies and operational efficiencies from coast to coast, Michael Bodnar, president, Security Partners, tells SSI.
“Our agreement with Mace affords us the opportunity to fully integrate three UL-Listed, CSAA Five Diamond monitoring centers, in three time zones, with separate power grids across the United States, to greatly improve our redundancy and alarm response for our dealers,” Bodnar says.
The transition to a single automation platform, however, is expected to be an arduous, months-long process that will require a great deal of research and internal deliberation. “We are going to take our time in terms of the decisions that need to be made in order to put our three centers on the same pipeline and same automation platform,” Bodnar says. “Anything we do will be with the input from our dealers because they are our lifeline.”
All three central stations will soon be on the same voice processing telephone system. Security Partners recently made the investment to deploy the Tadiran phone system at its Lancaster and San Antonio facilities, and Mace CS had already deployed the same solution. The facilities share other similarities as well.
SureView’s Immix situational awareness platform is already deployed at the Lancaster and Anaheim facilities and will soon be installed in San Antonio.
Security Partners adds roughly 400 Mace CS dealers to its network, bringing its total dealer account base to 170,000. Mace CS is a subsidiary of Cleveland-based Mace Security Int’l, a publicly traded company best known as a manufacturer of defense pepper sprays. The firm entered the alarm monitoring space in 2009 after acquiring Central Station Security Systems (CSSS), which would become the cornerstone of Mace’s then fledgling Security Services Division. For the past two years the facility has been managed by industry veteran Michael Joseph, who will stay on in his current role.
“[Mace’s corporate president and CEO] John McCann and I both had the vision of making Mace Central Station a true national company with redundant facilities. We have really had tremendous progress building the central station and gaining national recognition these past two years together, but redundancy had eluded us,” Joseph tells SSI.
Although it has exited from the alarm monitoring business, Joseph says Mace Security Int’l is developing its portfolio on several levels, including Mace-branded personal defense and security products that are in development for introduction in 2014. “[The acquisition] enhances Mace Security International’s ability to focus on product development and service offerings that will be available to the entire group of Security Partner dealers,” he says.
Peter Giacalone, who served as president of Mace Security Services following the acquisition of CSSS, says he is not surprised by Mace’s decision to sell off the monitoring center.
“If Mace wasn’t going to pursue acquisitions and achieve faster organic growth to gain a larger footprint, then as a publicly traded company their money was maybe better spent in other areas where they can get a better return on investment,” he says.
Giacalone, who operates an independent consulting business and is a contributor to SSI’s “Monitoring Matters” column, is intimately familiar with the technology used at Mace CS. He and Morgan Hertel, who formerly served as Mace CS’s director of operations and is now with Rapid Response Monitoring, are credited with upgrading the facility following the 2009 acquisition.
Giacalone says the facility is well positioned to offer dealers nationwide leading-edge services due in part to its Stages automation processing system by Secure Global Solutions, which has also been integrated with Videofied’s video verification system and VideoIQ’s analytics.
Pat Egan, CEO of Security Partners and president of Select Security, tells SSI his strategic plan is to continue surveying the marketplace. Could another deal be consummated in the 2014 timeframe? “Yes, hopefully in the South but we have several targets throughout the United States,” he says.