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Specifically Speaking with Kevin Walrad, Wrightson, Johnson, Haddon, and Williams

Specifically Speaking with Kevin Walrad, Wrightson, Johnson, Haddon, and Williams

Kevin Walrad

YARMOUTH, Maine—Security Systems News’ monthly column Specifically Speaking features Kevin Walrad, Associate with Wrightson, Johnson, Haddon, and Williams (WJHW), a provider of consulting and state‐of‐the‐art design services in various disciplines, including video surveillance/access control, acoustics/noise control, audio, visual, video & scoring displays, and broadcast provisions & video production, based out of Carrollton, Texas. “I am the discipline lead for the physical security systems design team, as well as a designer and project manager,” Walrad told SSN.

SSN: What kinds of systems do you design/specify and what services does the company provide?

WALRAD: As a physical security systems designer, my team and I are tasked with designing and specifying access control, video surveillance, intrusion detection, and two-way emergency communication/intercom systems.

Depending on the project vertical, we may also be involved in designing Under Vehicle Inspection Systems (UVIS), M/K rated barriers, patron screening, and security operations centers, among other things.

In addition to physical security systems, WJHW as a whole is instrumental in the design of sound systems, audio visual, video and scoring displays, broadcast provisions and video production, acoustics and noise control, theater planning, lighting and rigging, distributed tv and satellite, Wi-Fi, distributed antenna systems (DAS), and tel/data structured cabling.

SSN: What vertical markets does the company specialize in? Any interesting projects that you can mention?

WALRAD: Wrightson, Johnson, Haddon, & Williams is fully versed in vertical markets such as the K-12 and higher education (collegiate) markets, and municipalities such as libraries, police and fire stations, courthouses, and convention centers. We also place a heavy emphasis and are an industry leader in the sports and athletic markets to include professional sports leagues such as the NBA, NFL, NHL, MLB, and MLS franchises. Unfortunately, due to the nature of our business, many of our projects include NDA’s that do not permit us to delve into at this time.

SSN: How did you get started in security and designing/specifying?

WALRAD: Like many in the physical security industry, I fell into the trade completely on accident. I was completing an enlistment with the 3rd U.S. Infantry (The Old Guard) Commander-In-Chief’s Guard company and had an acquaintance that worked for Kastle Systems in their Washington, D.C. corporate headquarters. I was brought aboard as a helper in their installation department and proceeded to work my way up through the ranks on Class A office building projects. What was initially planned as a six month “test the waters” opportunity turned into an almost 20-year stint ending as the installation and service department manager in their Dallas office covering the Southwestern U.S. region.

A downturn in the market led to a project management/inside sales position for a local integrator that brought me into the educational, banking, and healthcare side of the industry. By sheer coincidence, I met a security designer for WJHW at a rep firm event, and the opportunity to move over to the consulting and designing side of the industry developed. I’ve been very fortunate and blessed through the years with some patient and knowledgeable mentors.

SSN: Can you talk about what new or emerging technologies you are seeing or specifying today?

WALRAD: The refinement of artificial intelligence and machine learning is the first thing that comes to mind. Harnessing AI and analytic capabilities to enhance and streamline physical security offers almost unlimited capabilities. Converged systems integrations and morphing physical security with building management and monitoring, as well as folding in other systems such as fire alarm monitoring and elevator control into one managed platform, is interesting

As is the case with advances in large-scale public venue patron screening that allow pedestrian throughput in numbers that were previously unheard of, mobile credentialing and cloud-based services are also seeing an increase in acceptance. It will be interesting to see how “as-a-service” features are refined moving forward and how the market accepts and adapts to them.

SSN: What is your view on the industry moving forward?

WALRAD: It’s an exciting time to be in the physical security industry as we’re truly involved in the process of bringing what was previously deemed as “science fiction” to fruition. The advances in technology and the speed in which it is developing and is being adopted by the industry is a wonder to behold. The key is going to be bringing the young minds who have been raised in the computer generation into the industry and tapping into their knowledge and vision. There are great things on the horizon for the physical security industry as a whole.


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