Paladin Security added to its expertise in the security industry with a notable hiring.
Recently retired Vancouver Police Department Superintendent Steve Eely joined Paladin at the beginning of July after a 32-year career with the police force, where he gained significant law enforcement experience. This ranged from street patrols to being a Commander of multiple districts in Vancouver, a nationally accredited Critical Incident Commander, and finally, as a Superintendent, which saw him lead over 400 sworn and civilian members of the VPD’s operations division.
Learn more about Steve’s experience and discover what he hopes to accomplish with the Paladin Group of Companies in our interview below.
Thanks for taking the time to chat, Steve. You spent 32 years with the Vancouver Police Department. What drew you to security?
“My entire adult life I’ve been drawn to serving the public and making a difference and it was a natural segue. I’ve had the benefit of working in the security industry before policing as a 21-year-old and I’m very proud of the accomplishments I’ve had with the VPD over 32 years. But quite frankly, while I did 32 years, I’m still relatively young. I have a lot of gas in the tank, and I still want to give back.”
You mentioned you started in security when you were in college, how has the industry changed three decades later and what kind of parallels are there between policing and security?
“What I’ve seen in Paladin is a whole lot of cross-over, and that’s a testament and compliment to Paladin. Years ago, when I started in security, the training was minimal. The onboarding process was somewhat nonexistent, you were given a uniform and you learned as you went. What I see in Paladin is a rigorous selection process with extensive front-end and ongoing training. Both Paladin and the police department subscribe to ongoing systemic improvement. Both are generally developing and promoting their people from within, have strong subject matter bench strength, and culture ultimately defines the organizational priorities, and I would say Paladin takes that to the next level and it’s impressive.”
Was it tough or scary for you to hang up your hat on a career you’ve had for so long and try something new?
“Scary no, exciting, yes. It’s a difficult thing. I was with the VPD since I was 21, so for most of my adult life. I considered it a second family and I always will. Even if you leave, those connections don’t leave you. Everything I’ve heard and hear, people are excited for me to explore a new frontier.”
With all of your past experience, what value did you see in joining Paladin?
“If I reflect back, there’s a long list of things I’m proud of. Collectively, I know I made a huge difference in improving the operational readiness of the Vancouver Police Department and I’m proud of that. The related piece is that I was involved in performance development, selection processes, and succession planning, so I’m proud that I have facilitated the success of others. To watch people I’ve worked with and brought along grow is really rewarding, and that’s something I’m hoping to accomplish here. I want to have a significant impact on improving operational readiness, bringing systemic improvement, and also having a hand in helping others succeed. So, if I can have that sort of impact here and leave a bit of a legacy, I will have done my job.”
What are you most excited to dip your toes into?
“It’s funny, I’m used to having a certain level of competence and I can tell there are some transferrable skills that I hopefully bring to Paladin, but specifically what I want to learn about is the whole RFP (request for proposal) process. So, I’m actively reviewing solid examples because that piece is brand new to me. I’ve never had to respond to an RFP or submit a proposal, so I want to get up to speed on what does and doesn’t fly and how to put the best product forward.”
What interests you the most about the Paladin Group of Companies?
“I would say Paladin is unique in that it does have the five major streams (Paladin, PalAmerican, Paladin Risk Solutions, Paladin Technologies & Concord Parking), and I think that’s unique to the security industry. To know that I can offer support in some of those other streams, like Paladin Risk for example, because of some of the tools and people they can apply to specific problems, that’s unheard of, and some of it is even rare in the policing circle. There just seems to be so many different streams and opportunities to participate and have an impact and that’s kind of exciting.”
A little more about Steve
- Grew up in Richmond, played hockey and football.
- Became interested in policing when he was a teen when a close family friend would tell him stories about his work and making a difference.
- Has a degree in criminology, and believes in continuous learning.
- Enjoys working out: weightlifting and ice hockey.
- He was two sons, Ben and Luke, and a wife named Connie