CPI Security CEO Remarks Prompt NFL’s Panthers, Others to Cut Ties

A local racial equality nonprofit called for a boycott of CPI Security after suggesting an email from Ken Gill included “insensitive and racist comments.”

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — CPI Security, based here, is under a firestorm of scrutiny following controversial comments made by Founder and CEO Ken Gill that prompted the NFL’s Carolina Panthers and NBA’s Charlotte Hornets, among other organizations and universities, to terminate corporate ties with the security company.

The uproar followed the publication of a leaked email Gill sent to a local community organization, which had called on city leaders in an open letter to enact police reform in response to killings of black people such as George Floyd.

In his June 5 email addressed to Queen City Unity Executive Director Jorge Millares, Gill said, “Please spend your time in a more productive way. I challenge your statistics. A better use of time would be to focus on the black on black crime and senseless killing of our young men by other young men.”

Millares then posted Gill’s correspondence on Facebook and called for a complete boycott of CPI Security, citing his “insensitive and racist comments.”

The Panthers, a close local partner of CPI for many years, terminated their relationship with the company on Saturday. The Hornets, North Carolina State University and University of South Carolina followed suit on Sunday. Also on Sunday, three minor league baseball teams — the Charlotte Knights, the Durham Bulls and the Columbia Fireflies — said they too have ended relationships with CPI Security.

On Saturday, Gill released an apology via Twitter, stating, “I want to apologize for my response to an email from a former employee that failed to directly address the need for racial justice and equality in the wake of George Floyd’s senseless killing.

I have listened to the feedback, and now more than ever realize the need for continued dialog to help end racism within our community. Working alongside our diverse employee base and community partners, I remain committed to being part of the solution.”

Founded almost three decades ago, CPI is a full-service residential and commercial business security systems and monitoring provider that has grown into one of the nation’s most successful independent regional firms. The company staffs around 730 employees at 10 locations (extending into Georgia and Tennessee, with licenses to operate in another eight states), serving 195,000 customer accounts with more than $121 million in 2018 revenues.

In 2019, the company was awarded the Monitoring Technology Marvel Award, which is presented annually by The Monitoring Association and SSI.

SSI has reached out to CPI Security for comment.

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About the Author


Although Bosch’s name is quite familiar to those in the security industry, his previous experience has been in daily newspaper journalism. Prior to joining SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION in 2006, he spent 15 years with the Los Angeles Times, where he performed a wide assortment of editorial responsibilities, including feature and metro department assignments as well as content producing for latimes.com. Bosch is a graduate of California State University, Fresno with a degree in Mass Communication & Journalism. In 2007, he successfully completed the National Burglar and Fire Alarm Association’s National Training School coursework to become a Certified Level I Alarm Technician.

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