Initial Security, a San Antonio-based subsidiary of British business-to-business service company 1st Group Company, offers a range of security services: investigation, patrol services, security officers, special event security, strike coverage, and consulting services. The company employs a proprietary 24-hour personnel management system called SystemsWatch, which protects a site by merging an automated check-in system with a real-time personnel database and service records. In this way, Initial Security can improve site safety and service as well as provide accurate billing to customers. At the heart of the system are mandatory check-in times that must be met by on-site officers. Should they fail to check in, the personnel database can quickly locate the closest back-up officer to be dispatched to the site. The timekeeping function of SystemsWatch is then leveraged on the accounting side to provide customers with a detailed listing of times and types of services provided. Initial Security employs 14,000 security officers in North America, working out of 60 U.S. and Canadian branch offices. The company also has 22,000 security officers working internationally.
The roots of Initial Security started in 1928 when 18-year-old Stanley Sylvester Smith opened a one-man private detective agency in San Antonio, setting up shop in the recently opened Milam Building (the first air-conditioned building in the world). Despite his youth, Smith had learned the business from another investigator and decided to strike out on his own. Over the years, he developed a steady clientele by forging a solid reputation for competence and honesty. Because many of his assignments required legwork in other parts of the country, he developed alliances with investigators across America. Eventually this network of independent private detectives expanded overseas, leading to the creation of the World Secret Service Association in 1950. Smith became the organization's second president, serving from 1951 to 1952, and 20 years later his contribution to the industry would be recognized when he was named president emeritus of what was now called the World Association of Detectives.
In 1956, a second generation of the Smith family, Stanley's son Sterling, joined the agency. It was Sterling who steered the company toward security services. In 1960, he began to concentrate on the business of providing guard and mobile patrol service in San Antonio, a move that would result in the company adopting the name of Stanley Smith Security. Several years later, in 1968, the company reached a major turning point when it was hired to provide security for San Antonio's World's Fair, officially know as the Texas World Exposition HemisFair.