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The estimable Dalai Lama has visited the United States many times over the past several years, and each time his security detail has contacted Security Detection.
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General Services Administration

“Despite recession, security services company thrives”

By Dana Wixted, freelance writer

The current economic downturn has been brutal on many businesses, but Security Detection has continued to grow and take advantage of opportunities for expansion.

The Framingham Massachusetts-based company is the largest event security services provider in the United States, supplying walkthrough metal detectors, x-ray machines, and handheld wands that detect weapons, explosives, and narcotics.

Founded in 1984, the company grew steadily until the events of September 11, 2001. Since then, Security Detection has expanded at an ever faster pace. In the past year and half alone, Security Detection opened four new regional offices, bringing their total to seven locations throughout the country.

When asked why the current recession has not negatively impacted his business, owner Mike White is succinct: “You can cut back on a lot of things, but public safety is about the last to go. For our clients, patron safety is not something they consider cutting.”

Security Detection’s revenue comes from the sale and rental of security devices to clients in the public and private sectors. “Our sales have grown exponentially to school districts, courthouses, and concert venues,” says White. As crowd and visitor security systems have become more common – even expected – in many venues, Security Detection is continually approached by new types of clients. For example, some of the company’s newest customers are hospitals in urban areas, many of which have begun scanning visitors for weapons.

A major portion of Security Detection’s business comes from rentals. The company helps a wide variety of clients secure large-scale events, such as conferences, trade shows, and sporting events. To date, Security Detection has provided security services for some of the most high-profile events in the world, including the Academy Awards®, Super Bowl, NBA All-Star Game, numerous Presidential debates, and others.

Many of Security Detection’s clients are repeat customers who serve as a foundation for new business. While the company attends trade shows and conducts some outbound marketing, referrals are a key to the company’s growth. According to White, “the majority of new business from our large rental clients is word of mouth.”

White credits his staff with the company’s reputation for excellence. “We have everything in place in terms of delivery, staff, professionalism and efficiency.” White also attributes Security Detection’s success to the company’s ability to adopt and employ new technologies quickly for clients. “Our products are high-end, and the technology is just incredible. Our detectors can now reveal where on the body someone is carrying a metal object.”

As demand for the most recent technological advances increases, Security Detection’s position as the foremost supplier of top-notch security services has propelled the company into new markets. “We’ve been expanding into international markets for the past couple of years,” says White. The company now sells security devices to clients in the Caribbean, South America, Africa, and the Middle East.

As for what’s next for Security Detection, owner Mike White sees little change in direction or momentum, despite the prospect of continued rough economic times ahead. “There’s always going to be security. Unless we become complacent – and we can’t – public safety is issue number one.”