Steve Garritson Honored with President’s Award from Wisconsin Security Association

H&S Protection Co-Owner Steve Garritson was honored in September with the President’s Award from the Wisconsin Security Association (WISA). Steve’s commitment to the association was recognized in remarks by WISA President Bill Flesch. Brandon Dobratz of Alarm Products Distributors was also recognized as a co-winner of the award for the past year.

For those of you who know Steve, the award won’t come us a surprise. For those of you who don’t know Steve, we’d like to elaborate a bit.

WISA President Flesch went on in his remarks to discuss Steve’s ongoing work for the association over the years. He cited multiple examples of how Steve has worked for the good of the electronic security industry in Wisconsin. In many ways, that says it all about Steve, what he means to our industry, customers and our business.

Steve takes into account the big picture and looks at how he can contribute to the success of the larger enterprise. H&S being an active member in WISA means a lot to Steve personally and to our family business.

No security company in Wisconsin operates on its own. We work with distributors, monitoring firms and those who make the quality products we install and service for our customers. That requires knowing which companies excel and maintaining quality relationships with them. Steve stands out in this area. He has a smile for others, a quick joke, a way to facilitate relationships that makes H&S a great place to work and do business with.

Will President Flesch went on to praise Steve and Brandon further in his remarks, we know Steve has been bringing his winning attitude to the office and field day after day for many years. If you get the opportunity, please stop by our Pewaukee office to say hi.

Lonnie Miescke Honored by WISA for 40 Years of Excellence

When H&S Protection Co-Owner Steve Garritson first met Lonnie Miescke in 1992, he was the new Operations Manager for Central Control. Lonnie then was the third shift central station supervisor. When you run a 24/7 operation, Steve knows your best people need to be on the weekend and evening shifts. When his beeper went off at 3 a.m., he knew it was a situation that needed his attention, and Lonnie was able to resolve most situations with customers and employees in a professional manner.

Steve knew he had a great employee in Lonnie, and because of her 40 years of service in the Wisconsin security industry, WISA (the Wisconsin Security Association) honored Lonnie with  a Lifetime Achievement Award for her 40 years of superior customer service.


WISA understands Lonnie takes people and property seriously and has displayed a consistent professional demeanor over the years in her approach to customers. She has built numerous friends and relationships with customers in her interactions over the years. WISA thanked Lonnie for her professionalism and superb customer interaction skills over her 40 years in the security industry.

When Steve asked Lonnie to reflect back over her 40 plus years in the security business on what she liked the most and the least, she said the least was the central station days when storms came up and the alarm activity would overwhelm the automation system and force a reversion to manual operation. Many times, Lonnie would stay to help the next shift until they got caught up.

“She liked the early Sentra Days Friday happy hours. We would send Lonnie to the bar next to the railway tracks with our drink order to bring back. We assumed they would provide a tray to hold the drinks. NO! Instead, Lonnie would recruit a bar patron to help her carry the drinks to our second-floor office. Once at the office, the patron would try to leave but Lonnie insisted he stay because most likely we’d be doing this again soon,” Steve said with a chuckle during the WISA awards ceremony presentation.

Most of all, Lonnie likes the friends and customers she’s had made along the way. Steve has seen first-hand the cards, letters, flowers and presents customers have sent her.

“Lonnie, the security industry and I owe you a debt of gratitude for all you have done  through 40-plus years of excellent customer service. It is my honor to present to you the Wisconsin Security Association “Lifetime Achievement Award,” Steve said.

Limiting Entrance and Exit Points

Limiting entrance and exit points to your business are part of a successful security strategy. It intuitively makes sense – fewer access points make for fewer locations where a breach can occur.

At the same time, by limiting where people come and go, you simplify your security plan. Whether you use an access control system, video cameras, or some form of intrusion detection, by limiting key points where people come into your facility, you make it easier to establish your security protocols at those locations.

That’s where H&S Protection comes in. We hold discussions with clients on how to best protect your access points after you’ve determined where delivery trucks, employees or customers enter or exit. With your input, we craft the best system to protect your facility.

Entrances and exits can be the weakest points in an otherwise successful security strategy. No matter how many cameras, motion sensors or access control technologies you have in place, if you can’t monitor and control who comes in and out of your building, then it is easier for a perpetrator to find a weak link.

After meeting with H&S, our staff will craft an intelligent plan using smart technology choices. You can transform your building’s entrances and exits from the most vulnerable part of your facility to the most secure.

To find out more, call us in Stevens Point at 715.377.0727, or Pewaukee at 262.574.7777.

Catching Up

It’s good to catch up with friends and colleagues. Sometimes you pick up tips you hadn’t considered previously.

Recently, we got together with an icon from the Wisconsin and national electronic security industry – Dave Koenig. We’ve known him for years and he’s provided exceptional leadership for our industry at both the state and national levels. Needless to say, we’ve learned a lot from him and used some of his insights to help us here at H&S Protection. It’s good to listen to others who have lessons on success.

Our conversation that evening with Dave was far-ranging, as it typically is, veering off into subjects from the Packers to personnel. We talked for a bit about what we’ve learned over the years.

One subject that stood out was how to attract and keep good employees. We are proud at H&S as a family-run business to have a longstanding positive record in hiring, developing and keeping our employees. That means finding what they do well and putting them in a position to succeed.

The hiring situation in Wisconsin is extremely tight. “Help Wanted” signs appear near many retail and smaller manufacturing establishments on a regular basis. Careful observance of strengths and weaknesses and open communication are more important than ever to keep our employees on a positive track and wanting to stay for the long haul.

We’ve been around since 1959. That’s over 60 years. We’ve learned a few things along the way to help us hire and develop good people in the security industry. When we sit down with someone like Dave Koenig to reminisce, it brings to light some of those situations we might not otherwise have considered. Every conversation helps when it comes to doing your best for your people.

Intrusion Booklet for Dummies

We don’t have an “Intrusion Booklet for Dummies.” There are books on “Excel for Dummies,” “Philosophy for Dummies,” “The Internet for Dummies,” “Auto Repair for Dummies,” and many, many more that you’ll find on Amazon. With our experience at H&S, we could write and publish an “Intrusion Booklet for Dummies,” but that hasn’t been at the top of our agenda.

Instead, what we do when we meet and work with customers on their security systems is to sit down with them afterwards and run through how to operate it. We keep it simple. We listen to the questions asked. We walk the customer through the various steps to operate the system, whether it’s an alarm system, video or access control.

We know the importance of getting you comfortable with the commands necessary to run your security system with confidence. If you don’t feel comfortable, you won’t use it. Then, the system becomes useless, which benefits no one.

Our account representatives and technicians are at your service. They spend time with you to make sure you feel good about the technology, and WANT to use it. We understand not everyone is an expert. In fact, most people are hesitant when it comes to trying new technology.

Part of our job is to overcome these worries, and we’ll stick around until you  feel comfortable.

If you need follow-up, don’t hesitate to reach us in north-central Wisconsin at 715.344.0727 or southeastern Wisconsin at 262.574.7777.

Easier Targets

Multiple studies over the years from law enforcement demonstrate that homes without security are more frequently targeted than a similar home next door. The posting of a sign warning a potential burglar of a home security system on the premises gets the bad guy thinking and slinking elsewhere.

Of course, the sign alone doesn’t get the job done. You  still need the system in place.

That’s where H&S Protection comes in. We sit down with you to go through your security concerns  to determine the most effective systems (and cost-effective) to put in place. It’s an easy process and we’ll ask questions to find out exactly what you want, using our years of experience to provide a solution.

That gives you comfort and peace of mind. When we plant our H&S Protection sign in your yard, you’ll know you’re not only  warning a potential burglar that the premises has a security system, you’re also getting the latest technology and a top-of-the line installation that will provide a quick response if someone has broken into  your home.

If you are looking for a home  OR business solution to your security needs, call us now. If you reside in central Wisconsin, call 715.344.0727. If you are located in southeast Wisconsin, call us at 262.574.7777.

Rural Doesn’t Always Mean Safer

Our Stevens Point and Pewaukee offices serve rural parts of Wisconsin. We’ve driven down our share of long lonely country roads to get to a dairy farm, manufacturing site or home. Crime doesn’t just happen in urban or suburban areas.

In fact, during a presentation earlier this year from the Kenosha Sheriffs’ Office to the Wisconsin Security Association (WISA), we were reminded by the officers to take extra care in rural areas. Sometimes lesser populated areas can be bigger targets for organized burglars because of their remoteness.

Beyond safety tips to put in motion lights, trim your hedges and have a dog who likes to bark, considering security cameras or an alarm system can provide you additional assurance. If you would like to talk with one of our representatives to discuss your situation,  give us a call in Stevens Point at 715.344.0727 or Pewaukee at 262.574.7777.

We offer the extra protection you seek. Our staff will sit down to hear your needs and concerns. We will walk your grounds and ask questions to ensure we put together the best package to protect your home or business most effectively and within your budget.

Rural communities are largely safe. We know this because many of our team lives outside Wisconsin’s more heavily populated areas. But they also choose to stay safer with H&S technology. It may be an option for you as well.

Lighting as a Deterrent

As  you head out for summer vacation this year, remember to protect your home while you are away. Keep your lawn trimmed, have your newspaper and mail taken care of while you are away and set indoor and outdoor lights, preferably with timers if possible.

Lights serve as a deterrent. Time and again, law enforcement preaches that potential thieves will move away from a home or business that is well-lighted and choose the home or business next door that is dark as their target.

H&S can help with your lighting needs. We work with your electrician to connect lights that you would like to operate remotely through your phone. The benefits are not only greater peace of mind, but convenience as well.

The ability to turn your lights off and on at specific times  is one of the major benefits you receive when we connect your alarm phone app to the lights in your home. You don’t need to purchase a timer. With a tap on your phone you get it all done.

We will discuss with you the best lights to operate remotely and what times make the most sense to turn lights on and off.  Our experienced sales associates and technicians will listen to your needs and work WITH you to design the most effective and easy-to-operate system.

Give us a call to talk to one of our representatives about how to best set your lighting when you are away from home to provide further protection. You can reach as in Stevens Point at 715.344.0727 or Waukesha/Pewaukee at 262.574.7777.

Camera Angles Critical

We know security camera angles are critical. Knowing the “hot spots” of a home or business is one of our skills. Still, we’re always open to tips, listening to our customers and other experts on how best to position cameras – both for deterrence value and to capture illegal activity.

One tip we’ve received, for example, comes from the Kenosha County’s Sheriff’s Department. They advise covering dangerous areas with more than one camera angle. That makes it easier to identify the perpetrator of a theft. H&S Protection agrees. The video we provide law enforcement in this situation helps create a better likeness of the individual.

We’ve also heard from the Department that one of their concerns is business owners not having effective training on how to use the video system. Our team members take this to heart. Not only do we train our people to ensure customers are comfortable with the system when our technicians leave a site, but we also encourage questions at any time. If for any reason there is a question on a system, please contact us in Stevens Point at 715.344.0727 or Pewaukee/Waukesha at 262.574.7777.

Another issue where we’ve received feedback from the Department concerns storage – the need to have enough storage and to hold onto the footage long enough for it to help law enforcement. We take this into account when working with customers to ensure they have the proper amount of storage for the system.

Pixilation – how clear the video appears on screen – is another important issue. If footage is grainy, it’s of no use. If cameras are placed too high or too far away from a scene that needs coverage, the pixilation will not be as effective. We understand this, and take the extra time to find the best line-of-site position and place our cameras for clarity of image.

And, while we don’t provide a “Camera Booklet for Dummies,” we do provide written materials to customers to help them make the best use of their video system. Better camera placement, more storage of video and the use of multiple angles are just three additional ways H&S works to protect your business or home.

Calling an Audible

In football, the quarterback may “call an audible.” When it comes to security systems, you want to make sure the area surrounding your home or business “hears an audible” alarm.

Don’t take that advice from us. It comes from the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department. Recently, the Wisconsin Security Association (WISA) held a Zoom session with the sheriff’s office on police- and business protection-oriented issues. One area that surfaced was appropriate protection provided by alarm systems.

A tip from the sheriff’s staff during the session with WISA was that “loud audible alarms” are one of THE best deterrents to burglar-related break-ins. The sound drives off the bad guys if they’ve chosen to break in. And, if the alarm has sounded previously, anyone casing the area recognizes that you have an alarm system and it will loudly alert the local community if your business or home has been breached.

No one wants to hear a super loud alarm sounding time after time next door. We recognize that. At the same time, the alarm sounding provides extra prevention and deterrence to your system. Law enforcement knows.

Give us a call to check on alarm options H&S Protection provides. Reach us in Stevens Point at 715.344.0727 or Waukesha/Pewaukee at 262.574.7777.