On a normal day, Suzette Po-Williams is a busy working mum. She balances a husband and children along with P&C meetings and ferries her children to their various sports. In her ‘spare time’, Ms Po-Williams volunteers, serves as a Justice of the Peace along with performing civil marriage and funeral celebrant duties. Yet, when she first put on her security uniform, this incredibly versatile supermum stepped into a league of her own.
Soon after joining Central Monitoring Services (CMS) in Gladesville, New South Wales, Ms Po- Williams discovered ‘there were no limits to what can be achieved’.
‘Sure, you could just coast along doing security guard work,’ says Ms Po-Williams, ‘but you can also reach for a career in electronics, engineering, research and development, risk management, locksmithing, or even teaching.’
Security also offered the excitement of learning to use firearms and master self-defense which—in the early days—put Ms Po-Williams in good stead for cash and ATM escorts, debt collection, and mobile patrols.
Even after 21-years of career-building employment with CMS, Ms Po-Williams still credits Managing Director, Neville Kiely, with her success.
‘He has mentored and guided me as he does all his other staff, but he also leads by example and in return expects us to be leaders in whatever challenge we take on,’ says Ms Po-Williams.
Strong leadership, quality training, and career mentorship explains why most CMS staff have given over 11 years continued service. But staff loyalty and satisfaction is only half of the CMS success equation.
Since 1989, CMS has specialised in alarm monitoring at a direct level for operators installing and servicing alarm equipment.
‘We use the best available computerised receiving equipment as set out in the Australian Standards AS2201,’ says Ms Po-Williams. ‘Plus, all staff receive up-to-the-minute technical training…and together we have over 40-years experience in the fire, electronics, and security industry.’
According to the Australian Security Industry Association Ltd’s (ASIAL) Security Insider Magazine (2005) CMS’s key to success can also be attributed to ‘operating within a well defined security framework’. Maintaining advanced policies and procedure is paramount at CMS.
Despite Ms Po-Williams hard work and personal career achievements within CMS’s outstanding security framework, she can recall many memorable and humorous moments.
‘Once I had an overzealous trainee,’ says Ms Po-Williams. ‘We arrived at our patrol destination. He threw open the car door and yelled, “Stay in the car sweetie!” before rolling across the bonnet and announcing, “I’ll go!”
Another time, a client’s silent alarm was tripped. Suspecting a break-and-enter was in progress, Ms Po-Williams arrived at the site only to encounter the burglar backing out of a doorway with his arms piled high with stolen goods.
‘Hold the door,’ he said, not turning to look. ‘Of course,’ said Ms Po-Williams. ‘After you sit down on the ground and we wait for the police to arrive and arrest you!’
The security industry is exciting, challenging, and offers many diverse career paths. ‘It’s not a dead-end job as the public sometimes perceives it,’ says Ms Po-Williams.
Admittedly, the security industry is suffering from a poor public image, but that is rapidly changing. Organisations like ASIAL are now working tirelessly to promote the industry and showcase its positive attributes. And with people like Suzette Po-Williams at the forefront in her role as ASIAL’s NSW Convener, it’s not hard to see why security deserves to be branded a profession that promotes ‘honesty’, ‘integrity’ and ‘commitment’.
Yet, for anyone starting out in the industry, Ms Po-Williams says, ‘Respect your personal limits, network amongst professionals you admire, and choose to specialise in an area you excel in.’ That is when you’ll truly discover the sky is the limit when it comes to a rewarding career in security. To read more subscribe to the magazine today!