'20 under 40' 2014—Melissa Hansen
Melissa Hansen, 38
Training manager, COPS Monitoring, Morristown, N.J.
What inspired you to get into the security industry?
I was referred by my cousin who worked for COPS in 1995 when I started, and she loved the job, and told me what the position entailed, and from there I knew this was the right job for me, because I love having the opportunity to make a difference.
What can be done to boost the ranks of young people in the industry?
I think what really helped me, and what’s really going to help the future generation, is having people who can inspire those working for [them]. We need people who are going to lead by example and teach that with hard work and dedication anything is possible. At COPS, [management] loves growth within the company—they love to promote. All you have to do is come to work and be responsible and just be eager and I think that’s what gets you the opportunities.
Where, in terms of technology and trends, do you see the security industry going next?
I think the possibilities are obviously endless. What I really think the focus should be on is that, with every tragedy or disaster, more technology solutions are needed to avoid the same outcomes. This would include enhancing video capabilities and determining what tactics are needed to respond appropriately.