Monitoring firm to open pair of central stations

SSN Staff  - 
Thursday, July 1, 2004

WILLIAMSTOWN, N.J. - As the saying goes, good things comes to those who wait. In this case, it’s the patience of an entire company that reaps the rewards of seeing a plan reach an end.
Last month, C.O.P.S. Monitoring went live in Scottsdale, Ariz. with its first external monitoring center outside its headquarters in Williamstown, and its second central station is slated to be up and running by the beginning of August in Grapevine, Texas.

C.O.P.S. set the plan in motion to grow its corporate presence two years ago and in the interim booked over 1,000 accounts for the Scottsdale location. The center opens with a staff of six, with an initial plan of filling just the dayshift. The company’s goal for the center is to be monitoring around the clock by the end of the year.

Executive Vice President Don Maden estimates the company spent approximately $500,000 to build the new center with particular attention paid to maintaining the appearance of its site in Williamstown.

“We built the facility to mimic our style in N.J.,” he said, for the purpose of ensuring that procedures already in place are replicated outside of the existing site. These include the positioning of the operators’ desks and the work site for the center’s manager.

With its headquarters located about 30 miles from Philadelphia, the centers in Arizona and Texas enable the company to target areas it otherwise held no stake in. The company now has regional offices that it can use to springboard new networking initiatives and sign new business.

With the larger of the two sites now live, C.O.P.S. is already routing a portion of its calls there and will direct calls in the future when overload situations occur.

There are two main reasons for the expansion, Maden explained: to ensure its business is never taken down due to an emergency and to increase its regional presence. “We realized redundancies, especially after 9/11, is more and more of an issue,” he said.

Maden said the company is now in talks with a West Coast firm about adding new features to its monitoring business. But, he declined to state the name of the company due to signed confidentiality agreements.

“There is a great awareness across the country of what can be tracked,” he said. As the technology costs are driven down and the adoption rate goes up, the type of services the company can offer are limitless, he said. In fact, if the market is there, the company could one day offer tracking services of people for people and not just people’s stuff.