Deep Sentinel on Racial Inequality: An Open Interview
Deep Sentinel Family,
For the first time in 2020, we did not publish our weekly “STOPPED” episode despite stopping an ever increasing number of crimes this past week. I want to take a moment to share why.
Deep Sentinel’s mission is to protect our customers. We prevent crimes before they happen and in those rare cases where we need support, we work hand-in-hand with law enforcement to protect the lives and property of our customers. One of our greatest claims is that we are the safest security system in the world in part because we have the most consistent and fastest police response possible. It is exactly because we serve at this intersection of our customers and law enforcement that one of our employees asked me to not send out a “STOPPED” video this week. It is for this same reason that I am sending you this message today (not on our typical Tuesday). We work with all Americans and we must show respect for voices that need to be heard and work together to resolve inequities in a way that makes all Americans safer. We have a section on our website dedicated to how we support law enforcement to reduce false alarms and increase officer safety, but we don’t talk about why black lives matter to us and what we will do and have already done about this.
Instead of our typical video, I am sharing a frank, sincere (and honestly a bit raw) interview in which this employee, Ally, challenged me to address–the topics of where do we stand? How can we both support law enforcement and the rights of Black Americans? I am thankful for Ally and her bravery to voice her opinion and to push our company to discuss these critically important topics.
I don’t expect you to watch and enjoy this video like our typical weekly video, but I want to share it with you because it represents our position on such a complex issue better than some simple tweet or 4-line instagram picture. It’s also not some fluff piece full of crud written by our PR team–it is real, and it includes actual actions we have taken and commitments we will continue to fulfill. I’ll summarize it here and leave it to you if you want to dig in further:
- We as a company and I as its CEO recognize that systemic racism exists in the US
- We agree that silence is compliance and we reject the notion that doing nothing is at least not making the problem worse
- I accept this as our problem, my problem–all of our–problem
- We proactively reached out to members of the NAACP, ACLU among others to get their guidance on how best to deliver our service taking into account the systemic racism of our world. Because we do call law enforcement at times, we need to take that responsibility with the gravest of importance.
- We hold ourselves accountable to the recommendations from these groups including training all of our guards to focus on behavior and not of the color of a person’s skin; we train them on on racial sensitivities and things that uniquely affect people of color (for example, young black are frequently confused with adults–and we must be aware of this in our assessment of security situations); we value and evaluate racial competency; and we track the interventions of our guards to ensure that they are not allowing implicit bias to affect their security work.
- Deep Sentinel isn’t a big enough company to alone change the outcome of this situation–we may not even make the tiniest of dents in the universe.
But we refuse to be a part of the problem; and we believe we should be measured not by the words of this letter or the attached video–we must be measured before God by our choices and actions. I will do everything possible to serve at this most sensitive moment in history.
I will not allow racism into our house.
-David Sellinger, CEO