A little over a year ago Lee Queen, COO at D. Geller and Sons in Atlanta, Georgia harnessed one of the most powerful security tools available today- the Internet. Lee and David Hunsucker, CEO of www.admitechnology.com, spent more than nine months developing an online community designed to provide timely, even hourly, information on the latest criminal activity. Knowing that the best defense is a good offense, Lee's concept was about unity. As an industry, Lee knows we are as strong as we are unified.
"If we have a way to immediately inform our industry of the latest criminal activity, then we have a chance at keeping our colleagues safe and possibly saving lives," states Lee. "As an industry we are pretty disconnected, leaving each one of us vulnerable."
Getting the word out about criminal activity is not a new concept. Many communication vehicles within the fine jewelry industry exist to do just that. But the ability to inform people within an hour of a robbery or, at least within a few hours, has the ability to slow or stop criminals in their tracks.
"Sharing information is priceless and can't be replaced by statistics or bulletins that might be to law enforcement, government employees or government agency representatives.
"Including this group of officials essentially closes the loop," comments Lee. "I actually started this policy after a law enforcement officer requested a login."
Today, membership in the network tops 150 and includes an array of industry professionals, advocates, law enforcement personnel, private firms, jewelry manufacturers, traveling salespeople and retail store owners.
The site, which launched in November, 2008, offers individual, group and advertiser membership packages starting at $99.95 per year. Membership to an industry buying group, such as SJTA, IJO, JCK or JBT can make you eligible for a discount on membership fees.
Being a part of an industry that is small has benefits, and communication is one of them. People helping people is one of the hallmarks of the fine jewelry industry. By simply spreading information we can be a powerful tool to combat criminal activity and, hopefully, keep our friends and colleagues safe.
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