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40 under 40: Eric Scrivana, COPS Monitoring

40 under 40: Eric Scrivana, COPS Monitoring

YARMOUTH, Maine—Eric Scrivana has seen his responsibilities change at COPS Monitoring over the past 23 years. In fact, his title has changed since being named one of the 40 under 40 winners for the Class of 2020.

Last year, the 40-year-old Scrivana served as Operations Project Manager at the Williamstown, N.J.-based provider of wholesale professional alarm services in North America.

In that role, his daily activities included:

  1. Holding efficiency meetings with all sites to consistently work on ideas that help improve alarm handling to cut down on keystrokes without losing aspect of what is so important – keeping customers safe while providing excellent customer service.
  2. Helping out with the training and working with new supervisors and managers.
  3. Answering employee suggestions.
  4. Helping out others (whether it was the training team/ops manager/or other departments) wherever he was needed or if someone needed assistance.

Last November, Scribana moved into a Tech Services position, in which his day-to-day responsibilities include:

  • Phone switch management
  • Receiver management
  • Telco/Network management
  • Critical infrastructure systems such as generators, fire systems, uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems
  • Product implementation

Impacting People

Scrivana told Security Systems News that he actually did not start out with a security industry career in mind.

“I had just graduated high school, wasn’t planning on starting college until September, and was looking for a job to get me through the summer,” he said. “But, once I began working at COPS, something changed in me. Instead of just ‘another summer job’, I felt that I was truly helping people. Whether it was an actual emergency or just helping them get assistance with their technical issues, I could feel how I was impacting people in a positive way. I also enjoyed the fast-paced environment, constantly learning something new – and got to meet a ton of people over the years.”

Monitoring Trends

Scrivana noted that the top security trends today center on monitoring systems. 

  • Mobile Personal Emergency Response System/Global Positioning System (MPERS/GPS Monitoring) – “For the first time, customers can protect themselves outside of their home,” he said. “Whether they are active elderly customers who need some extra assistance, a young adult who moved away for college and may need some peace of mind in unfamiliar territory, or lone workers, people can take professionally monitored security with them. In the future I feel like there will be greater security integration with the smartphones and devices that people already rely on every day.”
  • Verified Video Monitoring – “As video quality, compression, and AI continue to progress, I think more people will rely on video to prevent false alarms and to escalate response,” Scrivana stated.

He added that MPERS and video monitoring systems are the most exciting/promising new security technologies in the industry today.

  • MPERS – “Unlike traditional digital alarm systems that use passive sensors, the active intentional nature of MPERS means that almost every alarm is from someone in actual need of assistance,” Scrivana said. “I think it’s great that customers can get help wherever they are.”
  • Video Monitoring – “Giving customers and their monitoring center the ability to see what caused an alarm not only helps tremendously by cutting down on false alarms, it also helps to catch criminals and make better use of emergency services,” he pointed out.

Social Distancing

As COVID-19 forced many security industry professionals to work remotely, Scrivana noted that social distancing was a “serious concern we had in all of our sites” during the pandemic.

“The fact that we have six monitoring centers made a big difference because our staff isn’t all in one location,” he said. “Still, distancing in our offices remained a priority. In order to create distance, many of our dealer support and billing service employees worked from home, and we used the empty workspaces to socially distance.”  

On a personal level, Scrivana noted the importance of keeping his children safe and healthy during these challenging times.

“I have four children who keep me grounded and on my toes,” he said. “We’re able to do some sports, so keeping them safe and healthy is my main priority.”

Exciting Times

When asked about his views on the security industry moving forward, Scrivana pointed out that “Things are always changing in our industry. It’s exciting to see where it will go next.

“Having learned the MPERS regulations and HIPAA [Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996] requirements when we first started monitoring personal security was exciting, and I can only imagine how much more the technology and connectivity will continue to progress. The possibilities are endless.”

Recruiting talented, diverse young people into the security industry involves finding those who like helping others, according to Scrivana.

“We constantly look for people who enjoy helping people, and employee referrals is a big source for new employees,” he explained. “This isn’t only just a testament to the way our employees feel working for COPS, they tend to recruit others who will thrive in their positions. We have also visited schools in our areas to recruit young adults who might be looking for a ‘summer job’ and show them how they might do something that makes a real difference in the lives of others.”  

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