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Who’s protecting your castle?

Security: Having someone to watch your back brings peace of mind

Posted: January 21, 2011 10:14 p.m.
Updated: January 22, 2011 4:30 a.m.

Lt. Dan Sexton of Copper Eagle Patrol & Security looks over a bank of monitors with video feeds in the company’s dispatch facility in Canyon Country.

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I don’t know whether it was good luck, poverty you could recognize from the street, or the phony sign I posted in my front window that read “Security provided by Abner’s Alarms” — but my Canyon Country home was never burglarized or invaded — and no one was robbed there, in 25 years. I, and my family, lived safe and sound behind the moat for a very long time.

Of course, we all cowered in terror for decades because Dad (aka me) wouldn’t shell out for real home security — but I saved a few bucks, so it’s a wash.

You, on the other hand, might have a different perspective. And though the Santa Clarita Valley is one of the safest cities around for its size, it doesn’t hurt to have a friend looking out for you.

“Security is peace of mind — knowing you’re not alone, that you’ve got someone out there,” said Roger Combs, general manager of Copper Eagle Patrol & Security in Canyon Country.

And here it is important to note that having “someone out there” may go beyond your basic alarm system.

From Copper Eagle’s perspective, it’s all about the response to an alarm or call. What you want is a well-trained and well-equipped security officer to get to your home fast when there is a need.

“Make sure your company is local, as patrol areas can be huge,” said Isaiah Talley, Copper Eagle’s human resources director. “We have multiple cars in the SCV at any time and can also have backup in minutes,” he added.

Combs, Talley and Copper Eagle’s CEO/Chief Bill Corbett filled me in on the benefits of patrol security in general, and on the benefits their company provides, as I toured their headquarters this past Thursday.

Copper Eagle’s mascot, a terrier mix named Acacia, joined us for part of the tour — in uniform, of course.

Services
Copper Eagle offers security patrols, onsite guard services, closed-circuit television video surveillance, alarm response — and investigations.

“We always respond (to an alarm) unless we are told not to,” Talley said. “If there was a trespasser, we can remove the trespasser voluntarily or we can arrest him. We will identify and photograph him (for later investigation by law enforcement).”

Talley said the company can act as the legal agent for the owner of the property. As such, he noted, the officers can legally make citizens’ arrests when necessary. “And we can use reasonable force to effect that arrest,” he added.

Talley noted that Copper Eagle customers with basic security packages get one free response each month and, beyond
that first one, officer responses run $20 to $25 each.

In addition to the services mentioned above, Copper Eagle also provides security at major SCV events, such as Taste of the Town and those put on by the Michael Hoefflin Foundation for Childrens’ Cancer.

The company also sells security products to security officers.

“We are a major supplier of Tasers,” Corbett said.

Corbett explained that Copper Eagle is a full-service security company. “We install, service, maintain and repair alarms and camera systems,” he said.

Beyond the basic security package, there are varying levels of video surveillance, from four to 64 cameras — with the cameras, patrols and alarms costing $700 to $2,000 per month, and everything maintained for you.

But you don’t have to have an alarm system put in by Copper Eagle to contract for its security officers.

“Someone could already have an alarm system, and they could go to that company and say, ‘I want you to call Copper Eagle as my first responder,’” said Combs.

Copper Eagle will also do vacation watches on homes for $10 to $15 per day, and Talley added that businesses and construction sites are also customers.

Corbett noted that his company also has its own private-investigation division and provides bodyguard services. As an example, he said Copper Eagle provided bodyguards for Dog the Bounty Hunter during a recent book-signing tour visit in the SCV. 

All the latest
Corbett proudly pointed out that Copper Eagle has a modern, “paperless” office. Though paper forms are used initially, everything gets input into computer systems with backup drives and auxiliary power from batteries.
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“We can pull up a record from 23 years ago,” he said.

Every office in the building has video cameras, so every move is traced for reference (which can help in finding misplaced keys). Every phone conversation is recorded, and there are land lines that stay operational during power failures. Real radios, rather than cell phones, are used for field communication.

The Copper Eagle patrol cars are equipped with computers and video monitors. For customers with video surveillance, the officer reporting to a potential crime scene can actually observe the goings on before he arrives. He will know who is doing what, where, and be able to identify the suspects immediately.

Officers
Copper Eagle officers meet all the state training requirements, including continuing education, but the company trains them far beyond that. “We have the training and expertise to know how to handle things,” Talley said.

Many of the officers are ex-military and some are martial arts competitors. But he added that his officers also know how to communicate in situations to calm things down. 

Corbett explained that, except in special cases, the Copper Eagle patrol officers do not carry guns. But the majority do carry stun guns, and are well-trained in the use of the weapons.

Neighborhoods
Having an officer respond immediately when you hear something go bump in the night can bring great piece of mind to individual homeowners, but Copper Eagle also works with neighborhoods and homeowners associations.

“Private security is very good for neighborhood watches,” Combs said.

Corbett said the Northbridge Point homeowners association had suffered from vandalism until it hired Copper Eagle.

“They had thousands of dollars in damages,” he said. “We came up with a total program for them with 24-hour surveillance to prevent problems or catch them in progress.”

With a video surveillance system in place, and officers responding immediately to potential incidents, these problems were greatly reduced.

There was no need to keep a security officer onsite, and the homeowners association board members were no longer being called out in the middle of the night after incidents.

With approximately 87 security officers, Copper Eagle is a big operation that works on a personal level with its customers.

“Last year, we responded to 4,659 complaints,” Combs said.

Maybe it’s time you had “someone out there.”

Copper Eagle Patrol Security is located at 26752 Oak Ave., Unit C, Canyon Country, CA 91351. Call (661) 251-6999 or visit www.coppereaglepatrol.com for more information.

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