H&S Completes Annual Road Pickup

Recently, H&S Protection completed our annual road pickup on a 2-mile stretch of Highway 66 between Stevens Point and Wisconsin Rapids. It’s an annual trek for many of us. There’s a lot of garbage out there, more than there should be, and it’s important for us to do something about it.

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Our employees live in the area, but we had several come up to join us from our Pewaukee, WI office as well. We all want to make the areas in which we live a little better. This is one of our commitments as a company and through our employees to help. We’re not going to change the world in a day, but we’re going to do our part.

You can expect that from H&S on the job site as well. We hire people with a “can do” attitude.

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Twelve staff members completed the highway cleanup June 5. Rain or shine, we’ll be out there again next year, picking up plastic bottles, bags, cans, old tires, wind-blown plastic bags and other items discarded by the side of the road. We’re doing our part to keep Wisconsin beautiful.


“It’s great to bring our people together from both offices, get outdoors and do some good for the local community. We’re to operate in the Stevens Point area, and do our part to make it a little better every day,” said H&S Co-owner Mike Horgan.

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Family Business the Way to Go for Kelly Ransbottom

Working in a family business is the way to go for Kelly Ransbottom. Before joining H&S Protection three years ago, she lived in Little Chute, WI and worked for a family-owned company for 13 years. She found H&S to be a good and dependable company to work for when she moved to the Stevens Point area looking for employment, after answering an ad through a temp service.

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Kelly’s husband Steve had been commuting to Plover from Little Chute for over 8 months. With their children having moved out on their own, they decided to downsize and reduce Steve’s commute to 10 minutes. “Recently we built a new house and are happy homeowners again,” Kelly said.


If you need to find something at H&S’s Stevens Point office, Kelly is the person to reach. She handles customer service, answer phones and resolves issues. She works on collections, customer invoicing, processing and posting cash and credit receipts. And, she handles other miscellaneous tasks that come her way.


She has been married to Steve for 19 years, and they have four children – Preston, Molly, Allison and Charlotte, as well as three grandchildren – Aubree, Walker and Shelby. Kelly likes spending time with her family and grandchildren. “I enjoy quilting and gardening. Flowers are my weakness,” she observed with a smile.


“I also enjoy taking pictures of nature – butterflies, birds and flowers, as well as photos of the grandkids – if they sit still long enough,” she chuckled.


Kelly can reached at H&S’s Stevens Point office — 715.344.0727

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Guns and Ammo

Most retails stores that sell guns and ammunition have security – cameras AND alarm systems. Owners understand the value of that investment.


Last year, in our southeast Wisconsin service territory, we heard of two instances close together (in proximity and date) of break-ins and the theft of significant firearms. Despite security, the burglary still occurred.
While security systems – whether designed and installed by H&S Protection or another company – are not foolproof, they are deterrents AND they do help apprehend. In one of those two cases, video footage was used to quickly identify the criminal element.


So, yes, if you run a gun/ammunition storefront, you should have a security system in place. You should also make sure it is updated. These days, our video technology is enhanced from 3-4 year ago. You get higher resolution images with new cameras. Give us a call at either of our Wisconsin locations if you’d like one of our representatives to stop out and hear your concerns (Waukesha area – 262.574.7777; Stevens Point area – 715.344.0727). We’ll take a look and let you know what we think. If an upgrade or add-on makes sense, we’ll explain the details and why it would help you protect your site.


A year-and-a-half ago, we attended a gun and ammunition expo south of Milwaukee. We paid for a booth and met with many gun enthusiasts at the expo. Often when approached, their response was a smile and patting their hip, “I’ve got my protection right here.” We understand that perspective.
But it doesn’t help when you are away from the business. That’s why people hire H&S Protection. We’re your technology eyes and ears when you are away. You can’t “personally” protect your business 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. But we can. We appreciate the opportunity to give you that additional protection for your premises.

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Restaurant Experience

If you go into a restaurant, you’re looking for a good experience – tasty food, superior service, reasonably priced drinks and dishes. You also want the restaurant to have “experience” – in other words, you want their people to know what they’re doing.

We’d like to add a touch of H&S Protection to your restaurant experience. We have a lot of experience servicing the security needs of restaurants throughout central and southeastern Wisconsin. It’s one of our strengths. As we do more of these camera and security system installations, what happens? We get better. Why? Because of our additional experience.

That’s a huge advantage H&S provides to restaurant owners seeking security services. Our sales and installation staff have sold and installed systems in countless mom and pop diners, large-scale restaurant and elegant eateries. We don’t know it all, but we know a lot, and we bring that to the table when you meet with us and want to find the best options to protect your business.


Let us help you enhance your restaurant experience. If you own or operate a single shop or a chain of restaurants, and you want to look at effective and unobtrusive ways to improve how your business runs, give us a call. You can find out much more about the H&S experience here on our web site.

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Our experience can help you make your customers’ experiences better. Having a modern security system properly designed and installed is something that comes with the territory in the restaurant field. We’d welcome the opportunity to work with you to make your customer experience even better.

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Oh, the Places We Go…..

Every security company has a territory. H&S Protection serves southeast and central Wisconsin. We’re proud to live in the state and provide our services to a significant percentage of the people who live here.


If you draw a circle around our two offices in Pewaukee and Stevens Point, how far would our team reach? Pretty far. There are no limits to the distance we will travel, but for the sake of our “core” territory, let’s lay out a few parameters if you’re thinking about hiring us to help you with perimeter protection, security cameras or a monitored alarm system.

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Let’s take Stevens Point first. Is your business in Wausau? We’ll be there. Wautoma, Hortonville and Wittenberg? We can handle it. You can count on us in Nekoosa and Wisconsin Rapids. Waupaca? Yup. Marshfield? Set a time and date and our technicians will show up when you want them knocking on your door. Green Bay, Appleton, Neenah, Menasha and Oshkosh are all within our reach.


In Pewaukee, we embrace the Milwaukee metro area and much more. We’ll hit the Illinois border. In fact, we service multiple accounts in northern Illinois. Is your business in Madison, Janesville, Beloit, or Whitewater? We’ll make it. Heading north and west, we have clients in Beaver Dam, Hartford, Slinger, Fond du Lac, West Bend and Port Washington. We don’t stop there.  Lake Geneva? Piece of cake!


We’re proud as a Wisconsin-based business to provide “down home” service. To us, that’s about being trustworthy, showing up on time, and doing what we say we’re going to do. We’d like to cover the entire state, and in fact, if the circumstances are right, we’ll roll a truck to your home or business regardless of how far you are from either of our two offices.

Give us a ring, or check out our web site for more information about our people and services. We want you to know us so we can serve you to the best of our ability.

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Grandmother Connection Lands Josh Miller at H&S

Sometimes it’s a person you’d least expect who lands you your next job. In the case of H&S Protection’s Josh Miller, that was his grandmother. “She was out working in the yard and Steve Garritson, one of H&S’s owners, is her next door neighbor,” Josh relates. Through that interaction, Josh found out from his grandmother that H&S was looking to hire. There was a notice at the bottom of the H&S monthly bill insert, and Josh read the notice and found the position appealing, so he applied and was hired.


“It sounded like a great job. I knew Steve was a good guy. The job  had somewhat regular hours and I had been working the second shift at Texas Roadhouse.” Josh found the “shift switch” to day work appealing so he had more time to see friends and family.

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Josh likes working with electronics, which was another part of the position appealing to him. “I like taking things apart and putting them back together and tinkering around. It’s a cool job. I like coming to work every day,” he said.


The teamwork at H&S stands out to Josh: “Everyone is very nice and helps each other out. If I need to get a question answered, Mike Solomon may come out to a site to help me. If I call Ben Garritson, he’ll get me an answer. Matt Ballantyne and Russ Zanow help me any time I ask. It makes the work less stressful, and our projects go more smoothly.”
Outside the job, Josh enjoys the outdoors, including long walks and longboarding — a version of skateboarding with a longer board. “You go faster on it than a skateboard and can take hills better. I go 15-30 miles one way, and it’s good exercise, peaceful and relaxing. It makes it nice to be outside and enjoying the weather.”


Josh has two sisters and lives at home with his mother and father. And his grandmother lives nearby if you ever need help with your job search.

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Steve Garritson Covers it All in 39 Years

Steve Garritson has seen a lot in his 39 years working in the alarm/security industry. He’s been on the front lines dealing with customers, watching corporate America rapidly buying out smaller businesses, handling operations issues and now as co-owner of H&S Protection, running his own business. He’s learned the business inside-out and now shares those lessons with H&S employees, helping them grow.

“I’m having fun with the new people we’ve been bringing in,” he observed. Over the past 20 months or so, H&S has hired six new employees as installers and in sales. “I like watching them grow, grasp the issues and succeed.”

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One of his favorite parts about being an owner is going out on sales calls. “The sales rep has already done the hard work. Some riding along with them on the call is gravy,” he laughed. “I’m taking a bit more active role there. We need those boots on the ground.”

Garritson, who runs the Pewaukee, WI office for H&S (co-owner Mike Horgan operates out of Stevens Point, WI), didn’t set out to join the alarm industry. His father met a man during his travels who was the owner of an alarm company looking for an employee, and Steve followed up in December 1979. He took a job with the company, which had 5 employees, in Elm Grove, WI. That meant moving up from Illinois to an efficiency apartment that had a two-burner stove, small refrigerator and a foldout couch/bed. “I didn’t know a soul in Wisconsin,” he said.

Steve worked in a number of positions for 5-6 years at the Elm Grove company, then struck out on his own, contracting to do service and installation work in the security industry, then branching out to subcontractor work. He hooked up with a subsidiary of Central Control Alarm (the biggest independent alarm company in the state of Wisconsin at the time) in Waukesha, where the Operations Manager position opened up in Milwaukee. He handled service, central station (alarm monitoring) issues and ran the guard service (a 24/7/365 dispatch service).

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“It was a tough job, but the best experience. When the beepers went off and you saw the 911 number, you knew there was a problem,” he observed.

It was there that Steve met Jim Kurtz, Lonnie Miescke and Chris Utter. He also connected with Mike Horgan’s father Ed, through the state alarm association (now the Wisconsin Electronic Security Association WIESA).

In 1996, Central Control was sold to Security Link, giving Steve his first taste of corporate America. He quickly decided it was not for him. “If my heart had been in it, I think I could have excelled. We had the right people above us and a good corporate trainer, but there was a lot of disarray.”

Steve joined with Utter and Todd Courtney to found Sentra Protective Services (which merged with Horgan Sales and Service to become H&S Protection Systems in 2007), bringing along Kurtz and Miescke.

Garritson enjoys the security industry, particularly that it is constantly changing. “It was stagnant for a while, but now we’re in the digital age. We’re fortunate to have smart people in the digital field who understand computers and IT. Our people jumped right in and learned it.”

Steve is married to his wife, Barb, and has a son Ben (who works at H&S in Service) and daughter Stephanie (a teacher at Kettle Moraine High School) and two grandchildren.

He enjoys family activities in his spare time, getting together with the grandkids, and looking forward to taking them fishing and swimming on the family pontoon boat. Steve also enjoys deer hunting and fishing with his son-in-law and Ben. “I’m in a good place right now,” he said with a smile.

“You know, I’d never really thought about the alarm industry before I got started in it. I probably would have worked in one of the trades, maybe carpentry,” he observed.

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Walking Through

When you want to hire a security company, do you want them to come in and tell you what to do? Probably not. Instead, you want to explain what, if any, specific issues you’re trying to address. Have you had a break-in and you want certain doors secured? Is employee theft a problem and you plan to cover specific areas of your business with video surveillance?

At H&S Protection, one of our strengths is performing a personal walk-through at your home or business with our consultants. We do this to ask questions, find out what matters to you and dig into the best locations to put the equipment necessary to meet your needs.
We can’t do that over the phone. We won’t install technology without taking a walk-through and meeting with you. You must feel comfortable with our people and expertise. We must scope out the project to ensure the best protection with high quality equipment at an equitable price.


Over the years, we’ve come to hear of companies in the security business who may attempt to give you a dollar figure over the phone for an installation. That’s not us. Yes, we can ballpark certain pieces of equipment. But to best protect your business or home, and to ensure we do a high quality job, plan on H&S scheduling time to meet for a face-to-face walk through.


Ask us questions. Make sure you are comfortable with our people. Check out our web site to learn more about us: www.hsprotection.net. The more you know about H&S, the more we think you’ll want to do business with us.

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The Offer Mike Horgan Couldn’t Refuse

It wasn’t “The Godfather” movie, but Mike Horgan knew an offer he couldn’t refuse. It came from his dad Ed back in 1994 – a call to join the family business, Horgan Sales & Service. Mike answered the call, never looked back, and the rest is part of H&S Protection history.

As one of the owners (along with Steve Garritson) of H&S, and operating out of the Stevens Point, WI office, Mike didn’t initially set out to join his father after he graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Instead, he took his business degree and went into the grocery industry. “I was in management training, and the pay and hours were terrible. When I got the chance to move home and my dad made me an offer I couldn’t refuse, I was fully on-board and excited,” he said.

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Initially, there was a time Mike wasn’t thinking about getting into the alarm/security industry. “I’m not really an alarm guy. I never have been. I’m a business guy. When the opportunity came to work with my dad, I knew it was right. We’ve always gotten along great. That part alone was worth it. He is still around the business and we get coffee and talk shop every week. I’ve never regretted the decision to move my family back home.”

Horgan Sales merged with Sentra Protective Systems (Garritson’s company) 11 years ago. When he took on the position with Horgan Sales, Ed put Mike on a 2-year plan to learn every facet of the business – customer service, sales, bookkeeping, etc. “It didn’t go quite as planned, but it ‘went’,” Mike laughed.

“The transition from dad to me went so smoothly that I didn’t even know it happened. I found out I had officially taken over months after the fact; when I read about it on our web site. I thought, ‘Uh, okay’,” Mike chuckled.

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His favorite part of being an owner is seeing people develop and grow professionally. “We hire people with a good idea as to what they can bring to our team. But we also learn their strengths over time and cater to them.  I enjoy seeing people succeed – they’re the ones who make the true impact on our company. Give them the tools and get out of the way,” Mike observed.

Outside the H&S walls, Mike serves as an ordained Catholic Deacon for two parishes in the Stevens Point area, a position that took years of intense training and formation. “It’s like another full-time job,” he said. Among other things, Mike works with couples in marriage preparation, officiates weddings and baptisms, and on weekends assists at liturgies.

Mike’s third full-time job is as a husband to Lori and parent to their four young adults – David, Emily, Ally and Maya.

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If all that isn’t enough, Mike even finds time to occasionally fulfill his destiny as an extremely bad golfer.

“My hope for our business is to help employees grow, build a long-term sustainable company and have fun along the way,” he explained.

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One BIG Reason Not to Self-Install Your Security System

There are a lot of reasons NOT to self-install a security system in your home or business. Here’s one of them.


At H&S Protection, we talk with potential customers who’d like to save money on their installation and decide to do it themselves (or have a friend/relative do it). Recently, we sold a system to a customer, but he wanted to self-install a camera rather than have our technicians do the job.

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GUESS WHAT? They had a burglary (a purse was stolen in broad daylight) and they had not set up the camera to properly record. So they had no video of the crime scene. That’s what can happen when a home or business chooses to personally install their own cameras or alarm system.


We certainly understand customers want to save money. We strive to give you a competitive price quote. At the same time, it’s important to remember that a professional installation from H&S Protection gives you a much higher degree of certainty that your system will operate the way it’s supposed to.

There are no magic bullets out there. When you choose to install security yourself, you take on additional risks. If that’s in your comfort zone, we’ll support you.


But if you want it done by a team of experts like H&S Protection, you’ll not only get years of experience and training to ensure more effective operation of your equipment, but you’ll also have us in your back pocket for service if you need help down the road. That’s what you pay for, and we’re proud to provide that extra layer of safety to our customers.


Check out our web site at: www.hsprotection.net.  If you’d like a free quote, contact our Pewaukee, WI or Stevens Point, WI office, and we will send a representative out to meet with you. Go with the pros.

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