You’re leaving work, walking home alone in the darkness. Or your family member is home alone, and a stranger lurks at the door and won’t leave. These situations don’t warrant a call to the police until, sadly, after something dreadful happens.
Now, individuals can access private security on-demand via an app. Secur delivers accessible, affordable on-demand personal security to individuals and small businesses across Texas. The San Antonio-based startup launched its service in August and serves Dallas, Houston, Austin, and San Antonio, with national expansion plans to follow.
Secur CEO Gray Hardaway and chief of operations Torri Majors-Garza began talking about launching an on-demand personal security app in the summer of 2020. Both founders are serial entrepreneurs.
Hardaway has launched and sold two companies (Medfusion Pharmacy and PCR Diagnostics), and he founded the Hops & Hounds restaurant, which is still operating. Majors-Garza launched and still runs security companies TAAP Public Safety and SAF Security. After two years of planning, the co-founders launched their app in August and already have hundreds of users using the Secur service.
While Secur is not for emergencies when it’s appropriate to call 911, Hardaway and Majors-Garza stress everyone can benefit from access to affordable private security.
“We know of a 200-pound police officer who went out on a date and was drugged, so we know that Secur isn’t just for women,” Hardaway said. “When it comes to less-than-urgent situations, you often can’t call the police.”
Secur’s target goal is to send a highly experienced private protection officer to your requested location in 15 minutes or less. These contractors are often private protection and off-duty police officers trained in personal security to prevent crime. All officers are highly vetted and have undergone rigorous FBI background checks.
“We provide personal protection because not everyone has a friend they can call to come over and help them feel safe in an uncertain situation,” Majors-Garza. “We both realized even college students need our service.”
How does Secur work?
There are two ways to use Secur: On-demand or by pre-scheduling security services.
For individuals in a potentially unsafe situation, open the app, confirm your location, and request a Secur officer. You can call or text the Secur officer to explain your situation.
The security officer begins immediately communicating with the user through the on-demand app to assess the situation while en route to your location. They offer advice, de-escalation techniques, and additional support until their arrival on-site within 15 minutes or less, depending upon officer availability and proximity. Like the request process for an Uber ride, users can track the security officer’s travel route and expected arrival time once the officer accepts the request for assistance.
The Secur app also allows users to schedule security officers in advance when extra protection is necessary. For individuals anticipating a possibly tense situation, such as meeting a stranger on a first date or in a child custody exchange, users can arrange for Secur services in advance.
A small business owner can also pre-schedule a security officer to accompany employees to their home or car when they work late, have a special event, cover a realtor’s open house, or want security on hand when terminating employees.
“If you want pre-scheduled security anywhere in the U.S., we can accommodate that since our officers will travel to your location. It’s a feature of our pre-scheduled pricing plan,” Hardaway said. “We ask for 72 hours notice.”
The bare minimum cost of hiring private security is about $4,000 a week for about 40 hours of coverage, Majors-Garza said, which is not a realistic expense for most people. For round-the-clock private security, prices can be up to $21,600 or more a month for visible, uniformed security officers to patrol your business 24 hours a day.
Secur offers a range of plans for individuals starting at $9.99 a month (Secur also has family plans) to provide affordable, high-quality security to individuals at a previously unavailable price to private citizens. The Secur for Business Plan starts at $49.99 monthly for instant access to private security, whether on-demand or pre-scheduled in advance.
“Less than one percent of the population can afford private security,” Majors-Garza said. “Our goal is to prevent crime from happening in the first place.”
Next steps for Secur
The company has 25 employees and an administrative office in central San Antonio. The bootstrapped startup is now launching an angel investment round. Funding will help Secur expand its reach across the U.S. with the target goal of an officer responding to a request on the app within two minutes.
“Many of our officers have protected dignitaries, politicians, and celebrities,” Hardaway said. “With a SECUR membership, individuals and small businesses now can access that same level of security at an affordable price.”
The featured image shows the Secur app on a cellphone, courtesy photo.