Top-flight private security company KingAlarm is reducing the rates of its guard service to all its customers for the month of April as a contribution to Jamaica’s efforts to combat the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
At the same time, KingAlarm Managing Director John Azar has called on other businesses that can afford to reduce their prices for a period of time “to have the social conscience to do so in solidarity with the Jamaican people and other businesses that are all being negatively affected by COVID-19”.
Azar said the rate reduction will see the company applying its flat price only, which will go directly to paying its security officers and mobile supervisors, as well as meet petrol and administrative costs.
“While this gesture will be at a significant cost to us, now more than ever we realise this should not be about profiteering in a time of crisis, but for each person who can help to do so in whatever way they can with the greater good of the nation and all Jamaicans in mind,” Azar said yesterday.
The company, which employs approximately 3,000 security officers, will reassess the rate cut on a case by case basis after the month ends.
Azar noted that at this time, when allegations of price gouging are becoming more and more concerning and commonplace, KingAlarm was actually doing the opposite in lowering its rates on what he described as an essential service.
“I have the personal experience with one of our suppliers of sanitisers and cleaning products who, just last week, sought to practically double their prices to us on items we had bought the week prior. Such behaviour is despicable at this time when lives are at stake and where we should all be coming together to try and be our brother’s keepers,” he said, adding “clearly, the ability and available spend of the average Jamaican consumer will be adversely affected in the weeks ahead.”
“In this time of crisis, it is important that we band together as a society and fully appreciate that we are truly stronger together than we are individually,” he said.
“A large percentage of our guarding clients are in the hotel and hospitality industries, and we are cognisant of the unique situation facing those industries in particular; therefore, we are happy to do our part, even in a small way, to alleviate some of the harsh economic conditions that they now face.”
Azar praised doctors, nurses, health care workers, sanitisation workers, police, soldiers, security officers, workers within the energy sector, utility and telecommunication companies, public transit workers, pharmacists, supermarket workers, and “many more who consistently put the safety and security of others above their own in times of national crisis”.
He described them as “unsung everyday heroes in our society who work on the front lines to safeguard the lives of others and keep our society functional”.
These people, he said, “turn up every day, risking their own lives in the process, for others and it is important that they feel our love and appreciation as a society in any way possible”.
He also said the company was offering vehicle tracking services free to doctors and nurses, who are new clients, for the first three months after installation.
Azar said the package, which includes the device and installation, is a small token of KingAlarm’s appreciation for the efforts of the nurses and doctors. He also expressed hope that other businesses “will offer discounted goods and services to people within the essential services and really make them understand how deeply we appreciate their efforts”.
Added Azar: “I am also grateful to my own team at KingAlarm who consistently step up in times of crisis, working alongside the national security apparatus, to keep our clients and citizens safe. I am always amazed at how they never hesitate to answer the call and am reminded on so many occasions that it really does take a special type of individual to run towards trouble when others are running away from it. At the appropriate time we will be looking at what we can do to let our team at KingAlarm understand how much their efforts are appreciated, once we are in a position to do so.”
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