Mon | Sep 24, 2018

KingAlarm picking up the pieces! - Company takes action against employees for improper conduct

Published:Friday | July 13, 2018 | 12:00 AMJason Cross/Gleaner Writer
John P. Azar, managing director of KingAlarm, speaks to members of the media about the role of KingAlarm's security personnel in the recent shooting incident at Braemar Estates in New Kingston. Azar hosted a press conference at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel, also in New Kingston, yesterday.

More than one week after his company, KingAlarm, was thrust into the national spotlight following an altercation involving some members of its armed-response team and a licensed firearm holder, Managing Director John Azar yesterday announced that the company had taken action against some of the guards involved.

The actions followed an internal investigation of an incident that took place more than a week ago at Braemar Estates in New Kingston, where Andrew Woolery, a licensed firearm holder, shot and injured the security guard for the complex, who was attempting to disarm him. The incident, which was captured on video, showed KingAlarm personnel physically attacking and verbally abusing Woolery following the shooting.

"We at KingAlarm do not pretend that all our officers acted professionally. The female officer who was shown in video using explicit language has had her employment terminated. The senior supervisor who was found guilty of failing to take command of the situation was suspended," Azar disclosed during a press conference yesterday.

"He will undergo rigorous retraining on situational awareness and will be returned to active duty. The third officer, who was charged for slapping Woolery while he was being subdued, has retained an attorney. He requested that his hearing be postponed until today (yesterday)," said Azar.

Having outlined what he said was the sequence of events at the Braemar Estates complex, Azar told media at the briefing that he was not worried about possible legal action by lawyers representing businessman Andrew Woolery, who discharged his firearm, hitting a security guard assigned to the complex during the fracas.

But attorney-at-law Peter Champagnie, who is representing Woolery, later told The Gleaner that KingAlarm had no option but to take disciplinary action against the guards.

According to Champagnie, the actions of the company would not mean that legal action should be ruled out.

"That having been said, I think that the company has moved in the right direction and it was really the only option that was available to them. However, it will not deter any consideration that my client will be giving to take further action," said Champagnie.

jason.cross@gleanerjm.com