Monday, September 12, 2011

9/11, Remembrance and Praetorian

As our nation commemorates 9/11, mourning those we lost, celebrating acts of heroism and considering how our country has changed, I wanted to take a moment and encourage everyone to reflect on that tragic day. As CEO of an online media company dedicated to keeping first responders informed, I want remind all of us to remember those who lost their lives and those who made the ultimate sacrifice – many of them police officers, firefighters and paramedics - to save others. I encourage you to review the amazing coverage and stories of sacrifice we have posted on each of our sites:
You may be wondering how 9/11 affected the Praetorian Group as a company. When I think about 9/11, I can’t help but consider the formative impact that day had on our mission and future as a company. At the time, we had 5 employees and were struggling to find our way and make ends meet. Praetorian’s future was uncertain. But overnight, 9/11 changed everything. All of a sudden, the 70,000 law enforcement members on at the time as well as departments across the country had an urgent need to stay informed. They turned to the Internet and to us. I’ll never forget the day shortly after 9/11 when one of our members who was a chief of a small department called to ask for help. The only way he found out that his department was on alert was when he arrived home and his wife told him (she had seen it on CNN).

Correspondingly, we created site sections and newsletters as well as an email and text messaging alert service to disseminate information. PoliceOne became a ‘must have’ tool to help spread the news of terrorism threats and educate law enforcement on tactics and best practices to prevent terrorism. Our membership grew by 100% in less than 12 months. At the same time, 9/11 energized our company and fueled our resolve to keep pushing forward in a time of significant uncertainty. It crystalized our role in the community and brought us closer to the first responders we serve, strengthening our mission and commitment.

Ten years later, that energy and commitment is still strong and continues to ignite our mission. We count 700,000 first responders as members and a significant portion of our nations’ public safety community relies on us daily to provide them the information they need to stay informed. As I consider 9/11 and the state of Praetorian, I’m confident that we’re not only helping first responders everywhere better prepare for 9/11 related threats, but as importantly address the tragedy, challenges and threats they face on a day to day basis.

As part of a company dedicated to first responders, 9/11 has significant meaning for our members, our customers and each of our employees. Let us take a moment to reflect upon the tragedy of 9/11 and the examples of heroism and sacrifice we saw that day and how the first responders we serve – whether they be police officers, firefighters or paramedics – make sacrifices and risk their lives every day to keep us all safe.

In remembrance.

Alex Ford
CEO and Founder
Praetorian Group