Retired Toms River Police Officer and son working to keep communities safe through Armed Security
"A police officer is a police officer 24/7," Manchester Township Police Department Chief Lisa Parker said following an Off-Duty MTPD Officer helping rescue a missing person while he was hunting in the woods.
Whether it's off duty or retired, the instincts of providing protection and safety for the community never goes away.
Kelly Conklin Sr. is a retired Toms River Police Officer who following his duty in Law Enforcement has started up his own private armed security agency along with his son Kelly Jr. known as Superior Protection Professionals and is continuing to serve and protect people and businesses in the community.
This all started in August of 2019 following incidents in recent years at houses of worship across the country and Kelly felt called to help and provide an extra level of security on hand.
"With a lot of church and synagogue shootings, we said we have to step in somehow and help out here and being that I'm a retired cop and still carry a gun, it would make sense to start a security agency where we can go and make a difference," Conklin Sr. tells 92.7 WOBM News. "Coming out of retirement I said if I'm going to do something has to be something I have a passion for and something that has a positive impact on peoples lives. I thought that transitioned well into helping at houses of worship."
Kelly employs several retired police officers in the agency in addition to his oldest son Kelly Jr. and all work as armed guards in providing security for office buildings, retail establishments, schools, places of worship, gated communities, parties, fundraisers, bar mitzvahs, weddings, executive protection, high-risk terminations and other events and needs.
"We all care about what we're doing," Kelly Sr. said.
One place they've provided protection was a Tommy Hilfiger store in Atlantic City.
"They called us after a looting happened and they wanted us to escort their executives to their store so they could assess the damage and they wanted us at their store as they were opening for the first 3-5 weeks to make sure everything ran smooth," Kelly Sr. said.
The security they provide for high-risk terminations allows the employer to feel at ease in what could be a potential hostile situation.
"High-rise terminations are where you're firing someone or fear a disgruntled employee and want one of us there when you're going to fire them and then they keep us on for a couple weeks afterwards to make sure there's no form of retaliation from that employee," Kelly Sr. said.
They provide all these services and more with protection, safety and comfort all in mind.
"We provide armed security for any place that could be a target," Kelly Jr. tells 92.7 WOBM News. "As we've seen in the news in recent years, there's been a lot of hatred towards particular groups and people have come and they shot it up so any place where there's, not even a large population, but a targeted population we provide security and allow them to feel safe while they worship, while they work, while they shop."
Even in providing armed security there are some inherent challenges that need to be addressed and planned ahead to prevent anything from escalating and it starts with thinking and planning ahead.
"We've had people say to us, 'we're old school, we don't need security', and I said bay guys aren't old school, they don't care if you're old school, they just care that you run a school," Kelly Sr. said. "One of the other things we say is that if something bad happens at your location, your building, your office, your school and you didn't hire armed guards to make sure that nothing happened there you did not do everything you could to prevent that and that's a tough thing to deal with for them."
In discussing armed security with people, it's convincing them to plan ahead and be prepared for the worst case scenario.
"The challenge is convincing someone that the world isn't perfect and bad things can happen and a lot of people don't want to believe that but that's reality," Kelly Sr. said.
"It's about informing them on the possible outcomes that can play out from someone not hiring security," Kelly Jr. said. "It's better to prevent than look back and say 'what if we had this?'."
Kelly Sr. has been able to use what he learned in the police academy, on the force and in the field to learn what it means to provide security and think of the potential outcomes of a situation and be prepared to take it head on.
"When there's an encounter of some kind, we know how to diffuse a situation and deescalation and separation if you have people arguing," Kelly Sr. said. "A lot of stuff that we learned as police officers transitions nicely to being an armed guard. We're not law enforcement at this point, we're just there to make sure everyone is safe and make sure that people and lives and property stays safe while we're there."
Kelly Sr. said that Superior Protection Professionals is licensed through the New Jersey State Police for all of New Jersey and is fully insured and bonded.
If you, your business or event or anything else needs security through Superior Protections Professionals you can contact Kelly Conklin Sr. at 908-783-1939 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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