Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

INDUSTRY FOCUS: SECURITY COMPANIES; Scott Alarm Will Soon Be Back on Guard

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

INDUSTRY FOCUS: SECURITY COMPANIES; Scott Alarm Will Soon Be Back on Guard

Article excerpt

Byline: LUKE O'BRIEN, The Times-Union

A silent alarm went off in security companies throughout the Southeast this July. The culprit wasn't a cat burglar. It was Jacksonville native Bruce Scott.

Scott, a former burglary detective for the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, put the security industry on alert last month when he announced his plan to resurrect Scott Alarm, the company he transformed from a living room startup to the fourth-largest alarm business in the country in little over a decade. Scott retired in 1998. Now he's back.

Ann Lindstrom, a spokeswoman for ADT, said she had been tracking the new Scott Alarm since its rebirth.

"We're always aware of our competition," Lindstrom said. "And we're up to the challenge."

That ADT even considers Scott Alarm competition at this early stage shows the respect insiders have for Scott and his business savvy.

Scott started his original company in 1985 with $3,000. In 1996, he sold it to Wayne Huizenga's Republic Industries for $41 million. Two years later, he left the business and opened a motorcycle shop. He planned to take it easy. He planned to ride his hog.

But the siren song kept calling. Scott bought a stake in a security company in Chicago. He worked as a consultant for firms around the world.

"I love the alarm business," Scott said. "And I like helping people. I started thinking about getting back in."

The opportunity arrived in 2002, when Scott discovered that his old trademark had been abandoned.

Scott Alarm had changed hands so many times since the Huizenga purchase that the original trademark was no longer in use. Scott snatched it up, positioning himself to capitalize on the brand recognition he'd built in the 1980s and '90s.

"People remember Scott Alarm," Scott said. "It's a well-respected name. I'm proud of that, and we're going to recapture that. …

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