Brink's celebrates 150 years of security
CHICAGO -- You think you've got human-resources problems? Imagine hiring for a company where many employees carry a gun and where the employees work around and handle millions of dollars in cash and coins every day. That's the case for Brink's Inc., which celebrated its 150th anniversary Wednesday at its Chicago branch.

"There are very few companies with the longevity and legacy of Brink's," said Michael Dan, president, CEO and chairman of The Brink's Co. "Celebrating 150 years is a proud accomplishment and a true testament to the company's strength and stability."

The [image-nocss] company opened the doors to the highly secure Chicago branch to company dignitaries, major clients and media representatives for a glimpse at the Brink's Museum, tours of the facility and theestablishment of the Brink's Foundation 150 Years/150 Scholarships program.

During a tour, branch manager Mark Hatch explained that the hiring process for each employee takes at least two weeks, and that's only if no criminal record issues are found. One 13,000-square-foot money-counting room is overseen by 85 security cameras. And trashwhether from the office area, a counting room or the branch kitchenis kept on site for 90 days before being hauled away so it can be searched should money be discovered missing.

"We consider ourselves one of the most secure cash-logistics companies in the United States," said Courtney Michaels, a shooting-range trainer, who demonstrated how computer-video scenarios are used to train all Brink's employees who work with cash outside the branch. "Every time that our guys get in and out of their truck, they are putting themselves at risk."

Added Hatch, "I [worked] on the street for seven years, and I tell new employees I looked for the person that's the slob. We tell our people to make eye contact with everyone just to let them know that you see them."

After the tour, Dan presented a check for $150,000 to the Brink's Foundation 150 Years/150 Scholarships program. The funds will help Chicago-area students achieve their college education dreams.

A Growing History

Washington Perry Brink bought a horse-drawn wagon for less than $200 in 1859 and began transporting parcels, baggage and merchandise in Chicago. Within a few years, Brink's City Express, as the company was called then, became a trusted source for transporting large amounts of cash, a business niche that would define the company and serve as its foundation for many years.

By the turn of the century, Brink's had grown from a one-horse operation to a thriving business with 85 carriages and 170 horses. However, Brink's remained quick to embrace change, buying its first motorized delivery vehicle for $2,450 in 1904. After a particularly violent payroll robbery in 1917, Brink's introduced into its fleet refurbished school buses with armored side panels and, by 1923, the company acquired its first fully armored car.

In 1925, the company brought to market its most important innovation to that pointthe famous Two-Key Safewhich led to the now ubiquitous "Manager does not have key to safe" signs.

When Brink's celebrated its 100th anniversary in 1959, the company was one of only 57 firms established in the United States in 1859 still in business. Over the next few decades, Brink's expanded throughout Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and Asia-Pacific, growing its suite of solutions to include global air courier services (Brink's Global Services), over-the-road tractor trailer service, and security patrol and guarding.

Brink's Today

Richmond, Va.-based Brink's is the oldest and largest full-service provider of secure logistics solutions in the United States. Leveraging technology and state-of-the-art communications systems, Brink's delivers retail solutions such as Brink's CompuSafe Service, Brink's iDeposit and Brink's Daily Credit to take cash from point of sale to collected funds faster and more efficiently than ever before.

"Since the early days, Brink's innovations such as the famous Two-Key Safe, and later innovations such as Brink's CompuSafe and Brink's Daily Credit, have made the retail environment safer, more productive, and more profitable," said Dan. "Especially today, in an economic climate of razor-thin margins, tight credit and increased criminal activity, these services play an instrumental role in helping retailers persevere."

In honor of its sesquicentennial, Brink's launched an anniversary website that showcases never-before-seen photos and little-known history about the company from its beginnings in Chicago to its global leadership today.

To further celebrate the occasion, Brink's trucks around the world are sporting a specially designed anniversary emblem, a modified version of the Brink's shield entwined in a celebratory ribbon proclaiming the company's anniversary motto: People. Trust. Innovation.

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