IT all began way back in 1990, when Mike Millard, who was still a policeman, along with his wife Lynette, began a security company to fight crime and protect residents of the Kowie area.
Then, in 1998, with a viable business and well-trained staff, the Millards sold the company to a private individual who later resold it to Chubb Security. Mike Millard went on to other ventures, including a stint as the owner of the Snorting Grunter, but in 2006 he was asked to re-launch his old company under the old name, Multi Security; a name that had engendered respect and appreciation among its former clients.
“We started up again in 2006 in Port Alfred,” said the Millard’s son, Clinton, now a co-owner of the company. “At the time, crime was becoming rampant in the area, specifically house break-ins. In the first year we reduced the number of break-ins by around 80%, and continued to further reduce crime over succeeding years.”
Multi Security first started with alarms then moved onto guarding and technical. The need for state-of-the art security had grown and Clinton went on all the necessary courses from CCTV, special events to professional bodyguard in order to offer these services to the community. These services had not been offered to companies in the past, and Multi Security soon became the de facto standard for security in both the private and corporate sectors in and around the Kowie area.
The re-registration of Multi Security was achieved easily, and the Millard’s were up and running in six weeks.
Their old staff re-joined the company over the years with all guards and response officers being PSIRA (Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority) approved. Initially Multi Security set up shop at the old market building in Pascoe Crescent, but then, in 2008, moved back into their old premises in Van der Riet Street where you will still find them today.
The offices include a state-of-the-art SAIDSA control room that monitors CCTV security camera footage all around town and on the major roads in and out of the area. It is from here that operators dispatch response officers to investigate reported crimes.
Since the 2006 reboot, Multi Security has been an integral member, and often the initiator, of such schemes as Rapid Rural Response in 2008, bringing the police, NSRI, the community policing forum and security companies together to protect farms, homes and businesses in the area. Working with other organisations, such as Business against Crime and Community Police Forum and Ndlambe Municipality, Multi Security has a good handle on what is going on and what is planned for the area and is able, through its extensive knowledge, to make provision for events and happenings to ensure that, as far as possible, everything runs smoothly. Multi Security does not only just have response officers driving around but also implemented special duties like foot patrols and area observation to try to curb crime.
They currently run 16 vehicles in their fleet making them extremely visible. “Our armed response officers are fully trained in response procedures and are equipped to attend to any crime scene. It is a dangerous job but we managed to reduce crime in areas where we patrol. With Multi having such a large fleet there is always a response officer around to back each other up,” Clinton said. Multi Security took over Access Security in Bathurst in 2010 were they set up a satellite station in Kasouga and Kleinemonde. More recently, in 2014, Multi Security also opened a satellite office at Bihra.
But Multi Security is not just about fighting crime. With respect to disaster management, in 2012, when the Kowie suffered severe flooding, Multi Security was again there, helping to rebuild essential infrastructure like the Saltvlei Bridge, and generally assisting residents and others to safety, delivering food and blankets in the township and assisting vehicles that had been trapped by the rains.
As far as technology is concerned, Multi Security is ever striving to ensure its customers receive a world-class service by continually updating its knowledge on security products and ways to safeguard your premises. “We have also been keeping up with the times,” Clinton said. “This includes integration or GPS and tracking systems to dispatch vehicles and personnel. We can monitor how long it takes to respond to a call or an alarm, and give up-to-date information to our clients and the response officers. “Our recently upgraded control room is completely self-contained. With its own power source we can continue to operate, in the case of emergencies or the catastrophic failure of the power grid.”
Multi Security is affiliated to Gardmed Private Ambulance Service, making this service available to their clients as part of their monthly ser vice. Working in conjunction with the South African Police Services (SAPS) as well as other regulatory bodies, Multi Security has developed a reputation for rapid response. With their infrastructure and experienced officers, they assist the community in whatever situation is required.
Each week Multi Security produces crime reports on the goings-on in the Kowie, making them the number one source of information in the area. These reports are then condensed and related in Talk of the Town, informing residents and businesses where crime is occurring. This allows businesses and residents to be forewarned of criminal activity in their area and to take proper precautions to prevent crime. Crime will always be on the rise, it’s the nature of the economy. With the working relationship we have with the community Multi Security strives to keep Port Alfred a low crime area.