LAST EDIT October 24, 2023
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Michael Bock’s previous security job had been at a company that stationed him outside a grocery store as a deterrent to shoplifting. He was instructed to avoid interacting with customers, essentially serving as “a human scarecrow.” Dissatisfied with that role, Bock made a pivotal decision in 2021 to join Echelon Security. This move allowed him to play a crucial role in assisting his town. No longer just a deterrent, he's now at the forefront of real, cutting-edge security services – the security of the future.
In 2020, as downtown Portland, Oregon, faced significant unrest, a group of desperate business owners, unable to rely on the understaffed and overwhelmed police bureau, turned to private security.
These business owners didn't hire the typical security firm like Allied Security. Instead, they opted for Echelon, a new agency and a security industry innovator that showcases the new opportunities available to security entrepreneurs in an evolving reality where traditional police services can't always be relied upon.
Echelon represents the future of public safety. Their model is one you have to see to believe.
Here's their approach:
Echelon allows business owners, who are in close proximity with each other, to share security services, termed the "Pacific Echelon Model." By serving a close-knit community, Echelon officers specialize in addressing the issues plaguing these businesses, such as vagrancy, loitering, public drug use, and the repercussions of homeless encampments. This shared model not only potentially reduces costs for each business but also lets Echelon officers patrol according to the traditional "officer on the beat" method: going from site to site, and getting to work a beat. It's a proactive approach, fostering a deep connection between the officer and the public, increasing the odds of a genuinely secure environment.
Additionally, these officers have the authority to ban individuals from all Echelon-protected properties simultaneously. If an eviction occurs at one property, the evicted individual can be informed that they can not trespass at any of the other properties.
There are other synergies from this collaboration between businesses: When an incident happens at one property, Echelon can investigate, and potentially share findings with all businesses involved, and use this data to encourage policymakers to take appropriate actions. In one instance, when a potentially hazardous encampment was established on a public sidewalk, Echelon compiled a report that urged the city to intervene. One of their officers who got to play a part in researching for the report: Michael Bock, who had now evolved from being a human scarecrow, to actively making a difference in the community.
This comprehensive approach to security enables private firms like Echelon to fill the void left by police departments that, for various reasons, can't always address the community's safety needs. In the absence of traditional police, Echelon offers an alternative model for maintaining public safety.
One Echelon client remarked that before even considering calling the police, she'd contact Echelon first. She praised their quick response times, adding, "They’re in the neighborhood, walking the whole neighborhood, all the time. That’s why they know everybody."
Despite being a relatively new company, established in 2019, Echelon has secured high-profile clients, including prominent properties and the University of Oregon.
And, these grateful clients are willing to pay, and paying they are: In one case, a Chinese restaurant is spending 16,000 thousand dollars monthly for their security services.
This type of income appears to allow Echelon to give back to the community. They've formed a non-profit and are providing the homeless with essential goods and even covering their transportation costs to hospitals and shelters.
The flow of cash into private security isn't limited to Portland.
The New York Times recently declared that security expenditures have now reached 40 billion dollars annually in The United States.
The money is clearly there, ready to be spent on security solutions and Echelon, with its innovative model and evident success, offers a lucrative blueprint for security professionals everywhere. It's the chance to both earn a good living, and to do real, meaningful good for the community.
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