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John Akouris

John Akouris: Hollywood security 'star'

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

I knew that John Akouris, former VP of sales for Moore Protection, was a movie buff  who played a big role annually in helping select the winner of Moore Protection’s Morpheus Award.

Moore Protection, a security company based in Redondo Beach, Calif., gives out the award—which I like to all the “Security Oscar”—each year at Academy Awards time to a movie that “that best depicts the realistic use of modern security technology in mainstream media.” Akouris’ astute comments about the winning film always made me want to rush right out to watch it.

But Akouris, 78, who died of congestive heart failure on June 25, also was “a star” who made his own unique mark on Hollywood community in his many years of protecting Los Angeles’ most high-profile residents, according to Don Moore, president of Moore Protection.

Here’s more that Moore wrote about Akouris, who previously worked for Westec Security before joining Moore Protection, where he retired in 2010 but still retained the title of VP of sales emeritus:

John did as much to further the positive image of our security profession as anyone in memory, consulting with the “movers and shakers” of the Hollywood crowd since the mid-seventies while overseeing the West L.A. sales force of the most formidable alarm installation company in town. He was truly a star in a town full of stars, enjoying and reveling in his reputation for taking seriously his responsibility to protect while entertaining the entertainers with his myriad stories, anecdotes and insightful observations. His awards and accolades are too many to recount here but one glance around his den is testament to a lifetime of honors bestowed upon him, scattered among the celebrity photos inscribed lovingly by his famous but grateful clientele. …

He is survived by his bride of fifty-six years and high school sweetheart, Elaine, and their son Arthur, as well as throngs of extended family, friends, business associates and clients who came to love him as much for the care and diligence he conveyed in protecting them and their loved ones as for his larger than life personality and broad range of knowledge and experience. …

He will be missed greatly by all those who knew and loved him down here, but rest assured that Heaven is today a much safer place than it was before his arrival!


And the winner of the “Security Oscar” is….

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

I love Meryl Streep but her Oscar win Sunday night felt a little bit “been there, done that” to me. Not matter how deserved, it was her third, so where was the thrill?

So thank goodness for Don Moore, president of Moore Protection, a security company based in Redondo Beach, Calif., who instituted the Morpheus Award—which I like to call the “Security Oscar.” At Academy Awards time each year, Moore Protection presents the “Morphie” to a film “that best depicts the realistic use of modern security technology in mainstream media”—and it’s always a fun surprise to see which movie is chosen.

This year, the 2012 Morpheus Award went to “Tower Heist,” starring Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy, and Alan Alda. In a Feb. 27 news release from Moore Protection sent out, the 2011 movie is described as “a comedy-action film about a team of disgruntled working-class employees plotting to reclaim money that has been stolen from them by a greedy Wall Street mogul. In order to accomplish this, their team must, in addition to many other obstacles, circumvent the high tech surveillance system in place at the mogul’s home located in the penthouse of a high-rise Manhattan apartment building.”

John Akouris, VP of Moore Protection and the company’s resident film buff explained in the release what made director Brett Ratner’s treatment of security stand out. “Another director might have chosen to deal with defeating the security measures in a more fantastic, but less believable, way. Mr. Ratner, in keeping with his characters’ ‘blue collar’ ethic, used a more practical approach, and it worked to advance the story line more realistically,” Akouris said.

In Greek mythology, Morpheus was the name of the god of dreams and visions. If movies had been invented then, likely he would have been in charge of those too.

Moore has previously told me that his company for years just has usually announced the award internally and to clients. But he began announcing it publicly last year to highlight the positive uses of security technology in Hollywood, especially during awards season.

Also, he has said, “the Morpheus Award is an excuse to remind customers to use their alarm systems.”

"It never fails that someone experiences a burglary during one of the many awards shows,” he said. “Thieves know when they see limousines all over these affluent hillside communities of L.A. that the chances of finding an empty home full of valuable goodies increase exponentially. It’s a target-rich environment for burglars all year long, but the odds of a homeowner distracted by thoughts of red carpets and neglecting to arm their security system before leaving for an event make their illegal activities a lot easier.”

Moore also warned homeowners to take responsibility for their alarms. “Show business people often have assistants and household staff to which they have delegated the task of turning on their alarm system, and this is a dangerous practice. If a crime is committed while the system is disarmed it is the owner, not the assistant, which is put at risk. I encourage all my clients to personally arm and disarm their systems daily and test them at least monthly.”

Can’t wait to see the movie!