McKay Security & Investigative Services Ltd.
Small family business offers big protection
Business View Caribbean profiles McKay Security & Investigative Services Ltd., a privately-owned security and investigative firm in Kingston, Jamaica.
McKay Security & Investigative Services Ltd. began in 1989 as an investigation agency, working primarily on foreclosures and other, similar land control matters. In 1995, the firm was asked to investigate what had happened to a ranger who had been murdered on a nearby coffee farm. Unable to find the body, McKay asked the owner of the farm to give him the job that the ranger had been doing. He surmised that the incidents leading up to the ranger’s death might re-occur, giving him some clue as to what had happened. McKay then approached his father, Ronald, who had a small security firm, to lend him some of his staff, in order to better protect the property and proceed with the investigation.
Subsequently, McKay was asked to provide security for the Caymanas Racetrack in Portmore, utilizing the same methodology he had employed at the coffee farm. He and his father soon joined forces and their two separate companies – Metro Security and McKay Security & Co. – decided to merge in order to maximize efficiency. As the company’s customer base grew, the new company, McKay Security and Investigative Services Ltd., grew accordingly.
McKay, himself, received his training in the United States and Israel in SWAT (Special Weapons Attack Team) operations as well as in counter-terrorism and executive protection. He is also a graduate of the SIG Sauer Academy, a premier firearms and tactics training institution, and serves on the Jamaica Constabulary Force in the Special Operations Unit. His other areas of expertise are in the disciplines of forensic investigation and homicide investigation, and he is one of the few certified hostage negotiators residing in Jamaica. In addition, McKay holds a 5th degree black belt in Taekwondo and has been involved in conducting specialized training for the Jamaica Constabulary Force in the area of non-lethal self-defense. He was recently recognized by the American Society for Industrial Security for his contribution to the private security industry in Jamaica.
Today, his company works out of two primary offices – one in Kingston and one in Montego Bay – and serves about half of Jamaica’s 14 parishes. McKay Security & Investigative Services Ltd. employs approximately a hundred people directly and is associated on a contract basis with hundreds of others – investigators, security guards, off-duty police, etc. The company provides quality security for families, businesses, and events. Its products and services include: armed and unarmed guards, canine services, armored cars, body guards, and private investigation. Some of its clients include the largest companies and property owners on the island.
McKay says that one of the aspects of his firm that differentiates it from the local competition is its resolve to remain loyal to its limited customer base, and not attempt to grow merely for the sake of getting bigger. “We could easily be two or three times the size,” he states. “But our customers expect us to be a certain size. You can’t afford to have 500 customers because the whole essence of the business is personal services. We’re selling Jason McKay, not just McKay Security, and you can only be in so many places at one time.” In fact, every one of the company’s clients has a location manager who is only one phone call away from McKay, himself, ensuring a quick response time from the company CEO for major events or situations.
While generally content with maintaining its core business and its relatively small size, McKay admits that he would like to see the company’s newer, luxury armored car division become “more a part of the Jamaican culture. That’s an area of the company we’d like to see utilized more. A lot of people, who used to be using them, are not using them. So that’s something we’d like to develop,” he says. Currently, the company maintains a small fleet of Ford Explorer, Mercedes Benz, and BMW armored vehicles.
By the way, McKay says that they never did solve the riddle of the ranger’s murder, nor did they ever locate his body. The only positive outcome of that incident was the merging of his and his father’s companies to create McKay Security & Investigative Services Ltd., today, one of Jamaica’s top security firms.
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AT A GLANCE
WHO: McKay Security & Investigative Services Ltd
WHAT: A privately-owned security and investigative firm
WHERE: Kingston, Jamaica