I’ve spent the better part of the past seven years in the security industry, the last four helping to keep people alive. Before joining Evolv in February 2020, I was with a company that specialized in detecting metal contraband for prisons. We did searches to find cell phones and other foreign objects, including knives and razor blades that inmates were using to hurt one another and hurt staff members.
While working for that company, I imagined a product that would work like the Evolv Express®: A system that was touchless and unobtrusive, yet still capable of stopping the most dangerous threats. At the time, I didn’t believe such a product existed, except in my imagination. In reality, I wasn’t sure a system like that was even possible.
Doing what I was doing, ferromagnetic detection, I knew how difficult it would be to design a product that would intentionally miss all of the benign metal objects we all carry and just detect concealed handguns, bombs and large knives. Then I met with the team at Evolv. I asked to see the product. I saw it in action and said to myself: “I have to get this job.”
I am one of those people who has to be passionate about my work. I’ve never been so passionate about a mission like this before, and I’ve never worked like this before because I’ve never cared like this before. I get enormous satisfaction out of helping people. Helping them do their jobs better, get home earlier so they can be with their families, and doing my part to keep people safe.
“We need help”
I view my job as working with customers to help get people into venues more quickly while trying to locate concealed weapons they are not supposed to have—to create a clean environment. With our system, customers are able to treat every visitor the same—everyone walks across the same digital threshold. And everyone is treated with respect.
During all of my site visits, pilots, go lives and normal operations, I’ve watched more than a million people walk through our systems. They were all at a given venue for the right reasons, to enjoy a show, or do their jobs, or spend time with family and friends at a theme park or ballgame. I want to be able to help more and more venues prevent another active shooter event like the ones we’ve seen recently in Boulder and Atlanta.
I have a personal connection with all of my customers and a personal stake in their success. I could talk about my customers all day, but I’d like to focus on one that is close to my heart. In December, we received a call from a high-end shopping destination in Atlanta. That’s my home turf, where I grew up. That’s the mall I went to all my life. A mall where my mom and dad go, my cousins, other family members, friends and people in my community.
They said, “we need help.” There had been a string of shootings, including one where sadly, a person was killed. My colleague and I went to see them and arranged to set up an Evolv Express at one entry point. We detected several concealed weapons instantly and many over the course of a few days. Prior to our engagement, my mom told me, “I’m not going to that mall anymore.” Friends said the same thing. We now have systems at multiple entry points and my friends and family say they are feeling easier and more confident about returning to their favorite shopping destination. I applaud the mall ownership for their forward-leaning approach and dedication to creating a safe environment and the best experience possible for their patrons and staff.
“We are all here to make a difference”
My family means the world to me. My mom and dad are my role models and heroes. The last thing I could ever think of is someone coming into a venue and taking them away from me. It sickens me when I hear about these things, these senseless acts like the one in Boulder. I know with the work we are doing at Evolv, we have a chance to stop these events from taking place at other venues. It gives me an enormous sense of pride and gratitude to know I am doing everything I can to prevent these senseless acts of violence. And I know that all of the people at Evolv feel the same way. We’re all here to make a difference. We have our mission, and our mission is to keep people safe.