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3rd Quarter 2012 

At the Archives, guards are ready for the 'National Treasure' questions

By Katherine Boyle, Washington Post, August 2, 2012

(Ricky Carioti/ WASHINGTON POST ) - National Archives Special Police Officer Terry Walton
gives a briefing of the rules and regulations to a group of tourists at the National Archives.

The crowds brush by the Magna Carta -there's too much Britain on television, anyway - and instead wait quietly for their 20-minute romp with Washington's most-prized Americana.

A flock of 50 patriots - children, retirees, a lone government bureaucrat on a long lunch break - gather at the base of the Rotunda in the National Archives, waiting for their signal to approach the Charters of Freedom.

A security guard walks to the center of the steps. He begins an address using the seven-story dome for acoustics.

"I know the question you're wanting to ask," he says to the boy at the front of the mob. "Was ‘National Treasure' filmed here?'

This crowd laughs and perks up, just as tourists did yesterday and the day before.

"Well, no. ‘National Treasure' was not filmed inside here," he tells them, before launching into a masterful soliloquy about the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights. He tells them the details to look for - the handprint, the signatures - and preempts their questions before they can wonder aloud in the Rotunda.

Who's the guy in the painting with the wooden leg?

Gouverneur Morris.

Why is the Declaration of Independence faded?

Because it was on display in harsh light for much of the 19th century. So, no cameras.

Are you sure there isn't a map on the back of the Declaration of Independence?

Yes. We're certain.

Security guards answer these questions with color and context -with the knowledge one expects from a historian or docent. But the dozen or so stationed at points around the Rotunda receive no formal training from the Archives.

There's no reason these guards should know the answers to tourists' questions on history and architecture. Their mandate is simple: Protect America's founding documents. But since they work in this dimly lit shrine to America's founding charters, they speak tourist fluently. They anticipate the queries and read up on the history. They know when tourists are too ashamed to ask who wrote the Constitution.

"There's a routine we go through up there," says Robert Pringle, 71, a guard with American Security Programs, the contractor the Archives uses. Pringle has worked in the Rotunda for 16 years, beginning his career before the Archives got a boost from a Disney's historical fiction blockbuster.

"I call it ‘that movie,' " Pringle says of the "National Treasure" film franchise that kids ask about daily. "We get a lot of questions about the filming."

But Pringle receives other questions, too, and he uses his position to educate the crowds.

"People are surprised to hear that the documents were written on parchment, not paper," he says. "Sometimes they'll try to read the cursive and they'll give up after the first few lines."

"Some of the questions stump us," says Bryant Bethea, 38, a security guard who's worked at the Archives for 13 years. "A kid once asked the distance from the floor to the top of the dome, and I didn't know, so we had it measured. It's 73 feet."

Tourists also love to give their opinions.

"Sometimes tourists will say, ‘Our congressman should come here and look at the Constitution,' " Pringle says of the political banter he hears. "We don't comment on that. . . . It's always so moving, though, when tourists have an emotional response to the documents. You'll see them with tears in their eyes."

Besides the security guards, a trained group of volunteers and docents at the Archives also takes visitors around the Rotunda every few hours. The guards hear so many of these tours that they pick up anecdotes naturally.

"A synergy develops among the volunteer docents and the security," says Rebecca Martin, volunteer and tour coordinator for the National Archives. "Stories and anecdotes get passed along all the time. Everyone is borrowing stories and spying on what everyone else is saying."

Which is great for the tour guides, since the Archives building is open seven days a week, nine hours a day during the summer. On its busiest day this year, the Archives received more than 5,000 visitors. With a million visitors annually -many coming in the summer months - it's hard to answer every question. Martin says that informed and friendly security guards are a valuable asset.

"We try hard to make sure that visitors have the opportunity to learn as much as they'd like to in our public vaults and our learning center," says Martin. "And people are really curious. We're always delighted to answer questions."

Even those tired, obvious questions about "that movie."

Nick Luciano Promoted to President, Hannon Security Services, Inc.

It is with great pleasure that we announce that Nick Luciano will be taking over the duties as President of Hannon Security Services, Inc. Nick originally began his career with Floyd Total Security as a residential sales representative before Michael and Bev Karch purchased Hannon Security in 1991. Nick immediately transferred his efforts to the security officer business, and was promoted to Vice President in 1999.

Michael Karch, Owner and CEO of Hannon, said, "Nick and I have worked together for over 20 years. Over that time he has continually shown his integrity, forward thinking and leadership abilities. With the challenges our industry faced in the last few years, Nick has shown his abilities with people, both employees and corporate staff, and also in his ability on the business side. If I was a client one of the most compelling reasons to choose Hannon is the fact that Nick will ensure you are well taken care of. That is what we are all about."

Nick has been an integral part of Hannon's growth and success the last 20+ years. He worked as a security officer for a large, national, company while going to college so he learned first hand what it was like to be an Officer. He has never forgotten how he felt as an employee and has implemented many programs over the years to reward the Hannon officers and corporate staff. He personally welcomes all the new officers at Hannon.

"I've been a Hannon employee for 21 years. During those years I've always felt like the people at Hannon and Floyd treated me like family. I've always tried to emulate that same feeling back to all of our employees. Hannon has been the best placed I've ever worked. As far as the title change, I've never been big on titles. I don't really think they mean as much as what you actually do for people. I'm sure no one will notice any change with me.", said Nick.

We congratulate Nick on his much deserved promotion!

Universal Protection Service Acquires A&R Security Services, Inc. and United Security, LLC

SANTA ANA, California (Sept. 1, 2012) - Universal Protection Service, a division of Universal Services of America and one of the largest providers of security services in the U.S., is excited to announce that they have acquired A&R Security Services, Inc. and United Security, LLC. Founded in 1967, A&R Security Services, Inc. is one of the largest privately owned and operated security providers in the Midwest, while United Security, LLC operated as a part of A&R Security Services, Inc., but under a separate company name.

"The acquisition of A&R and United enable Universal Protection Service to execute its strategy of being a true national security service provider," said Steve Jones, COO and Co-CEO of Universal Services of America. "With a strong presence throughout the Midwest, Universal Protection Service now has vast resources and unique capabilities throughout all of the major markets in the U.S."

"A&R/United and Universal have been partners in business ventures before, so in many ways this is a natural progression," said Christopher Thornton, President of A&R Security Services, Inc. "Our company shares so much in common with Universal that the only changes our customers will see are the advantages a first-class organization like Universal brings to our service delivery."

The acquisition of A&R Security Services, Inc. and United Security, LLC will expand Universal's security force throughout the Midwestern states of Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

"We are pleased with the new additions to the Universal Protection Service team. A&R Security Services, Inc. and United Security, LLC have great long standing reputations in the Midwest. These acquisitions are Universal's platform to provide that area of the U.S. with the enhanced level of customer service that we are famous for," said Brian Cescolini, Chairman and Co-CEO of Universal Services of America. "We will continue to deliver unmatched customer service as we build one of the best contract security service providers nationwide."

Universal Protection Service is now the 5 th largest security company in the U.S. and the 3 rd largest U.S. owned security organization. Universal Protection Service is a division of Universal Services of America, which includes Universal Building Maintenance, Universal Protection Security Systems, Universal Fire/Life Safety Services, Security Forces LLC and SFI Electronics. As they move ahead with their recent expansion, Universal looks forward to continuing to provide their clients with the best security solutions, personalized customer service and unmatched value available.

Congratulations to A & R Security - we are sad to see you leave but wish you all the best on your new venture!

Member Companies

Advantage Security, Inc.
13693 East Iliff Avenue, Suite 200
Aurora, CO 80014-1367
(303) 755-4407

American Security Programs
22900 Shaw Road
Dulles, VA 20166
(703) 834-8900

Anderson Security Agency, LTD
2555 W. Morningside Drive
Phoenix, AZ 85023
(602) 331-7000

ASAP Secured, Inc.
8160 Parkhill Drive
Milton, ON, L9T 5V7
(905) 875-3764

Executive Security Systems
1100 N. Bowser
Richardson, TX 75081
(972) 480-0101

Hannon Security Services
9036 Grand Ave. S.
Bloomington, MN 55420-3634
(800) 328-3877

Integratas Security Corporation
65 Broadway
New York, NY 10006
(877) 446-4TAS

King Security
1458 Howard Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 556-5464

Per Mar Security Services
1910 E Kimberly Road
Davenport, Iowa 52807
(800) 473-7627

Phoenix Security Hawaii
P.O. Box 61867
Honolulu, HI 96839
(808) 988-7077

Puget Sound Security
13417 NE 20th St., Suite 200
Bellevue, WA 98005
(425) 454-5011

RSIG Security - MA
1290 Worcester Road
Framingham, MA 01702
(508) 881-3023

RSIG Security - MI
24209 Northwestern Highway, Suite 200
Southfield, Michigan 48075
(248) 357-9064

Vinson Guard Service
955 Howard Avenue
New Orleans, LA 70113
(800) 228-3801