â€œEvery crucial experience can be regarded either as a setback, or the start of a wonderful new adventure, it depends on your perspective!†- Mary Roberts Rinehart
THIS WAS THE CASE FOR ESA MEMBER, MARK THOMPSON OF SMITH THOMPSON SECURITY IN PLANO, TEXAS.
In 1978, Thompson had aspirations of becoming a pilot for a commercial airline. That year, his father was tragically killed in a drunk-driving accident and while the funeral was being held out of town, the Thompson’s family home was being robbed.
â€œI will never forget the depth of despair that my mother plunged to when she saw the drawers, our belongings, the mess strewn throughout the house – and even worse, the police fingerprint dust everywhere when we returned from the out-of-town funeral,” he says.
These dual tragedies incited Mark’s fascination and curiosity with home security. Unfortunately, during this time, security was very expensive and not fully accessible to those outside of a certain social class. Mark wanted to provide security at affordable rates so that anyone from any community could have
access to safer homes. As this technology becomes more accessible and affordable, we are seeing wireless home security cameras placed around more and more homes to prevent break-ins. However, some people are using dummy cameras instead!
â€œMark and I were dating at the time and I admired his drive to start a new business,†says his wife Lynda. â€œI helped him and his partner with proposals, bookkeeping, and banking part-time. I already had a full-time position of my own.â€
He began Smith Thompson with his best friend and flying partner, Jim Smith. Jim was already working for a CCTV company at the time, bringing a technical background to the business.
And so, the classic partnership was born. Jim was the technical side, Mark was the businessman – and the mix was a perfect combination for starting a successful security business.
Today, Smith Thompson Security is nearly purely residential, but maintains a very small percentage of commercial clients in their portfolio. Based in Texas, with future plans to expand into other states, Smith Thompson focuses on providing affordable security for a diverse set of families, as this was the foundation of the company from its inception.
â€œThe monitoring station has always been my side of the business,†Lynda says. â€œIt takes dedication and hard work to keep the station staffed 24/7, while giving customers the support they need. I’m proud of our UL rating and what we have been able to achieve on our own.â€
Smith Thompson/Dallas Mavericks Give the Gift of Security
Mark’s strong passion for protecting families has led to initiatives for the company to become involved in the local community.
One recent initiative that made local headlines and news coverage this past May had Smith Thompson Security’s passion of deterring crime in all communities written all over it.
Smith Thompson Security, along with the Dallas Mavericks organization, joined forces to donate security systems to local Dallas citizens – Kenneth Camp and Rosa Obregon, being two of many.
â€œI’ll feel more comfortable with this security system,†Obregon said in a news interview. â€œI’m really fortunate.†
Camp and Obregon were two of fifteen families from low income areas who have received the donated systems this year. Households that needed systems most: victims of crime, single parents, and elderly. Smith Thompson Security is the official home security company of the Dallas Mavericks – and the initiative was sparked by an introduction made at a home game. There, Mark and Lynda met former Dallas chief of police, David Brown. Cooperation like this goes a long way to further the sport and even gives those playing at a college level more of a sense of the reach that basketball enjoys in the community, spurring them on to progress into the big leagues. College basketball is still a big deal in its own right and attracts many who are willing to part with their own money to support a side in the hopes that it will pay off – check out these college basketball picks to learn more about things like NCAA betting odds and more.
The company strengthened its bond with local police officers, through joint initiatives to give back to first responders, when the security alarm giveback program was born.
Local police officers nominated 15 families from low-income areas that could benefit from a donated alarm system. These were households that were in high risk areas and occupied by families that may not otherwise be able to afford a system of their own.
â€œThe idea was to give away free security systems to people who needed it the most, in neighborhoods that needed it the most,†Thompson says.
When Mark and David visited the homes to install the security systems, Mavericks forward Harrison Barnes was also in attendance to participate in the effort.
â€œHistorically, the relationship between law enforcement and our communities, has been damaged and broken. And there’s been a lot of mistrust,†he says. â€œThe Mavericks and Smith Thompson have done a great job in taking the step forward to mend it.â€
This article is excerpted from the 2018 Jul/Aug edition of ESA’s print magazine, Security Nation. ESA Members can view the article in its entirety, by clicking the link below to download. Security Nation is a glossy magazine publication. This exclusive ESA Member Benefit is mailed 6x per year, including profiles of ESA Members, industry news, association updates, best business practices and more. For more information on becoming an ESA Member, contact [email protected].