Project Profile: Security Order in the Court

When word came down the pike that a Colorado community was in line for a fancy new courthouse, local integrator Colorado Security answered the call of civic duty.

Score another one for the little guy. While a relative handful of goliaths and marketing-savvy companies tend to receive the lion’s share of exposure, one of the enduring – and most endearing from an entrepreneurial standpoint – aspects of the electronic security industry is its principal population of 10,000+ small operators. According to Security Sales & Integration‘s 2014 Installation Business Report, about 85% of installing security contractors generate $10 million or less annually, officially classifying them as small businesses based on SBA standards. These firms, many of them independent and family run, are the industry’s heart and soul. A prime example: Colorado Security.

The integrator’s latest victory – the largest single building project in the company’s 31-year history – is not only a milestone for the business but also a feather in the collective cap of the often silent installation majority. “We are very proud of this project not only because of its size, but that they chose a local small security integrator as their provider,” says Colorado Security President Brian Collinsworth.

By stepping up to deliver an integrated access control, video surveillance and emergency communications solution for a new courthouse in Pueblo, Colo., Colorado Security has thrown down the gauntlet making the case for local integrators versus larger regional or national providers. This pertains not only to smaller firms’ technical and project management prowess in larger deployments, but also their relevancy in markets with complex needs and requirements such as government and health care.

2 Sons Stake Their Security Claim

Following stints with the U.S. Navy, Collinsworth and his brother Michael joined Pueblo-based Colorado Security in the late 1990s. Just a couple of years later they would take over management of the business, which was founded by their father, Joe Collinsworth, in 1984. He established the firm after spending 13 years as a Diebold technician. That experience led to Joe Collinsworth providing security services to financial market clientele throughout the southern part of the state.

“Until our employment, the business was primarily in the financial security sector. Once we joined, we expanded the business to include the education and government sectors, and included fire alarms to our list of services,” says Brian Collinsworth.

Today, Colorado Security is five-employees strong and has solidified an excellent reputation for quality service and satisfied customers. Its 2,000 installed accounts are split 75% commercial and 25% residential, with its leading systems and services being (in order) video surveillance, fire/life safety, intrusion detection and access control. About a quarter of its customers subscribe to monitored services supplied by Rapid Response Monitoring.

“Being a small, family-owned security business has challenges. It is not easy competing against the corporate marketing machine of the larger security companies,” says CEO Michael Collinsworth. “However, our size does help us in the fact that we have been able to develop personal relationships with our customers and local community. This helps us with turning new customers into long-term clients.”

Asked what the key has been to their success, the Collinsworths say hard work, honest relationships and education are the traits learned from their father that have made the business a continued success. Michael and Brian both have associate’s degrees in electronics technology and bachelor’s degrees in security management.

“I think education and training is lacking with many security companies today, especially the larger companies,” says Brian. “Wireless technology and remote programming have been great advancements in the industry, but it has also created voids in technician quality and quantity. Many technicians today cannot use a voltmeter and lack basic security troubleshooting skills. At Colorado Security, we like to keep up with current technology, but are careful not to forget the basic fundamentals from which we started.”

Integrator Was in the Right Place, at the Right Time

Named after a chief judge who recently retired after a 16-year run, the $58 million Dennis Maes Pueblo Judicial Building is one of the city’s most significant civic structures and is Colorado’s newest courthouse. The state-of-the-art, five-story complex’s more than 170,800 square feet includes 17 courtrooms, chambers for judges and magistrates, jury assembly and deliberation rooms, a first appearance center, clerks and administrative offices, probation department offices, training rooms, holding cells, security, and parking.

“Pueblo County had outgrown its existing judicial building and finally an opportunity opened up for a new facility. This might not be unique for most large towns, but what makes it unique in Pueblo is that it only gets a building of this size every 25 years,” says Brian Collinsworth.

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About the Author


Scott Goldfine is the marketing director for Elite Interactive Solutions. He is the former editor-in-chief and associate publisher of Security Sales & Integration. He can be reached at [email protected].

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