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MANSFIELD - Schmidt Security Pro hasn't survived 40 years without being able to adapt.The company has evolved to the changing demands of the industry."I started with polygraph testing," founder and CEO Bill Schmidt said. "We added investigation, guard service and camera surveillance."Schmidt Security Pro has been at its current location at 241 Industrial Parkway since 1990. It started downtown in 1976."It was about half the size of this break room," Schmidt said of the company's origins. "It was myself and another person or two."Schmidt said the guard division covered the company's initial growth in its first 10 years. It started with a request from Pepsi Cola. Schmidt Security Pro later added companies such as Shiloh Industries and Therm-O-Disc.It was a good time for the business."We grew it to where we had over 160 security officers and over 50 guard accounts," Schmidt said.

As manufacturing faded, so did the demand for guard service, though Schmidt Security Pro still has 50 to 60 guards.The company has had to evolve to implement technology in its services.Today's security businesses also have to be able to handle different clients."It depends on the customer," Schmidt said. "A homeowner is a lot different than a school or bank or hospital. For a homeowner, often it's intruder detection and fire detection."Commercial clients often ask for closed-circuit TVs and door-access control.In years past, each portion of a security system operated independently. Now, most are integrated.Something that hasn't changed at Schmidt Security Pro is its focus on values such as a strong work ethic, professionalism and putting customer needs first.Ken Zahn has been with the company about 20 years. Like Schmidt, he is a law enforcement veteran. Schmidt spent eight years with the Mansfield Police Department and was later director of security at The Ohio State University at Mansfield.Zahn, the chief operating officer, worked as a detective at the Richland County Sheriff's Office, spending time with the METRICH Enforcement Unit and SWAT."I met Bill by accident," Zahn said. "We had a lot of common ground. I left the sheriff's office and kind of took a chance."Zahn started with the guard division as an account representative and gradually worked his way up the ranks.Like Zahn, Brian Schmidt has been with the company about 20 years. Bill Schmidt's son started full-time two days after he graduated from college.Today, he is the company president."We look at ourselves as consultants," Brian Schmidt said. "We see what the customer wants. We never presented ourselves as a guard company or an alarm company."Schmidt Security Pro also offers fire protection with such items as sprinkler systems, exit signs and extinguishers.In addition, the company offers personal emergency response systems for the elderly and people who live alone."We probably get more positive feedback from this group of customers than anyone," Brian Schmidt said.The company president said a trend in the industry is data security. He could see it becoming Schmidt Security Pro's next adaptation."Data has become as valuable as physical property in some cases," Brian Schmidt said.

Source: Schmidt Security Pro Celebrating 40 Years (Congratulations to Braintree board member Brian Schmidt) URL: http://www.mansfieldnewsjournal.com/story/news/local/2016/10/10/schmidt-security-pro-celebrating-40th-anniversary/90896216/