Les Arends - 20 Years at 24/7 Monitoring
A great big happy retirement to Les who has been a member of our CPS family for 20 years plus! Below are some quotes from his message to the team and a detailed account recapping on his time with us.
Leaving the British Military after a 22 year career, in October 2001, thought, what do I want to do now!!! I was now 42 years of age and still had a lot to give to a future employer.
I wanted something with a new challenge, without the stress of having to wave goodbye to the family for weeks and months on end, on which was part of being in the Forces meant we had to do, after all, we signed on the dotted line and received the "Queens Shilling" lol.
I read a job advertisement in the local newspaper where I was spending my last 6 months in the Forces on gardening leave (as the military call it) in Chester, the Dale Barracks. The job advertisement was for an Alarm Receiving Centre Operator in the Headquarters.
My family and I had agreed that we wanted to stay in the area and not return to our home town of Liverpool, so where in the middle of purchasing a house around the Chester area when this new job opportunity arose.
I completed the application for an interview and hoped I would get the chance to attend the premises and find out what the role of a Alarm Receiving Centre Operator entailed!
A few days later, I received a letter from the Company inviting me for an interview at their Headquarters. I still remember what I actually wore attending my interview, black suit, dark blue shirt, black, highly polished shoes, but NO tie!!!! What, NO tie!!!! reason being nearly all our belongings had been boxed/packed up and ready to be picked up by removals to be taken to the new house. I was going to have to try and explain this tie issue on interview.
I was met downstairs in reception by a smartly dressed, very polite gentleman, who WAS wearing a tie (gulp) named Mr Geoff Farrell. He took me upstairs into his office, sat me down and asked how many sugars I took in tea/coffee then disappeared.
After a few minutes later and with a mug of coffee in hand, we sat and chatted away for ages. Geoff made you feel so at ease. He explained to me what was expected of one of his operators and the shift pattern what was used at the time. If I remember right, the shift pattern was 8 hour shifts of mornings, afternoons and night shifts, followed by two 12 hour weekend shifts. These shifts included days off as well. I later found out that some people did not like the shift patterns, but it did not bother me at all, at least I would be home after my shift and not away on exercises or operations for weeks, months on end, as I was when in the military. My interview finished and I was informed by Geoff that I would require a further interview, there was always 2 interviews in the early years, this interview being with the Alarm Receiving Centre Manager, Mr Pete Tait.
Had my second interview with Pete a week later, then started my new job as an Alarm Receiving Centre Operator on 08 October 2001, the actual day after I had left the Army.
I cannot say what we actually get up to in the Alarm Receiving Centre as it's "Top Secret" lol, but we do what is in the title, receive and respond to a wide range of alarms as well as drink tons of coffee lol.
The uniform has also changed since I started, the white shirt, blue clip on tie has now been replaced by a more relaxed blue "Fred Perry" style T shirt and looks the part.
Twenty years and six months later!!! They say if you enjoy your job then time flys by, that was certainly correct in my case. I have met some fantastic people working for Crime Prevention Services and made some friends for life. I have always felt as being a part of this big family. The Company has gone from strength to strength and has grown so much during my years, hence the new extensions to the building and the amount of staff now working at the Headquarters, not to mention the vast amount of new equipment all round the buildings.
The new extensions to the buildings are now completed and I must say, looking fantastic and the daffodils, recently planted, are now in full bloom and looking fab.
Geoff Farrell would be so proud to see what Karen has done for/to the Company and how much it has grown. To me, Karen has not just been my MD, but also a friend (I hope lol) and I hope a friend for life!
I would not hesitate in recommending Crime Prevention Services to any future employee. It's not just a Company you are working for, it's a new family you are working alongside.
I want to say a massive Thank You to Karen and all staff at the Company and I wish you all the very best for the future and I say this from the heart.
You have not completely got rid of me yet as I am enrolling onto the bank staff, so hopefully will still invited to All the parties lol.