The title of Security Officer of the year is usually reserved for an individual whose contribution to the company or service to its customers, or the community at large far exceeds the call of duty. This year we have two extraordinary individuals who simply made it impossible to pick just one.
Major Alex Abounza, Security Officer of the Year 2014. Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.
Alex had been a Police Officer in New York since 2001. In 2007, he decided to move down to Florida and started working for G4S right away, as he said because “the company had everything I was looking for”.
Alex started his career working as a Custom Protection Officer in a large residential community in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Alex rose through the ranks very quickly, in 2008 he was promoted to Lieutenant, and in 2010 Alex was promoted to Major -Site Manager.
During a normal day, Alex received a call from the dispatch center indicating there had been a traffic accident inside the community. Upon arrival Alex found a car has crashed into some trees and that was beginning to catch fire; Alex rushed to the car and found a male on the driver’s side unconscious and unresponsive, with the help of a bystander Alex was able to pull the driver out of the car.
Within minutes of pulling the driver out, the car was completely engulfed in flames. Alex started practicing CPR on the driver, until the fire department arrived. Unfortunately the driver of the car did not survive. Alex mentioned “It was my duty to try and help, I had to get that person out of the car”.
On a day to day basis, Alex supervises all the staff on site, coordinates site patrols, does administrative work, and actively interacts with the community members. Alex also said “I like working with G4S, because every day is a challenge, I get to interact with a lot of different people at the site where I work”.
Custom Protection Officer Jeff Demerath, Security Officer of the Year 2014. St. Louis, Missouri.
Jeff is originally from Milwaukee and has been involved in Law Enforcement for many years. He started his careers in the U.S. Army as a Military Police Officer in 1985. After leaving the Military, Jeff moved to Antony, Kansas and joined the Police Department.
In 2012, Jeff moved to St. Louis, and started working with G4S as a Custom Protection Officer as part of the security team of a University Campus. On a day to day basis, Jeff is in charge of patrolling the campus grounds, monitors alarms, responds to emergencies, and monitors several locations within campus.
On November 14th of 2013, Jeff was patrolling a parking lot in campus that is not used very frequently, when he spotted a vehicle parked on the far end. Jeff approached the vehicle to talk to the driver; and immediately noticed the driver was very nervous, also there was a teenage girl sitting in the back seat who looked distressed. Jeff requested some information from the driver, and let him go. After the vehicle departed the area Jeff immediately contacted the Chesterfield Police Department.
Upon further investigation, the Chesterfield Police Department charged the man in the vehicle with rape of a minor and praised CPO Demerath, for his quick thinking which helped in bring a criminal to justice.