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5S Security: A Five-Star Company That Will Protect All of Your Stars

Avraham Hirschey, CEO, 5S Security (right) with Shael Sokolwski of Hatzalah of MetroWest.

Think professional private security is an unnecessary expense? Think again!

The Jewish Link recently spoke with Avraham Hirschey, chief operating officer, 5S-Security in Passaic, about the importance of security in the Jewish community’s religious public venues and at events related to Israel.

What inspired you to become involved with the field of security?

I chose the security industry specifically because I felt it needed to be reformed; it needed, “an industry upgrade.” Our firm 5S is proud to provide true professionals.

What does “5S” stand for?

5S is short for five-star, because that’s the level of service we aim to provide. Our owner Joseph Rodriguez founded the company three years ago after retiring from decades of experience in the military and in law enforcement.

When the need for security in communal locations seems so obvious, why do people seem to push back or minimize the necessity for security in religious public venues or events?

In many cases, people believe that cameras and alarm systems are enough security for their facility. This is a mistaken notion, since alarm systems can be overridden and cameras are primarily used for evidence collection from law enforcement after an incident already occurred.

Additionally, one can conceal their identity by wearing a face mask and sunglasses. Having trained professional security physically on site is the best deterrent possible. A trained professional knows how to monitor cameras in real time and respond accordingly should an incident arise. Every second counts in the event of an active shooter. A trained officer on site can respond immediately to a situation.

How is the presence of specially trained security personnel different from police presence?

Police presence is great for a deterrent, and in some cases may be warranted depending on the situation at hand. However, even off-duty police officers must still abide by department policies and cannot enforce certain rules like a private security guard can. For example: Bag searches and ID checks can only be done with probable cause for active police officers. A civilian security guard can enforce any policies the facility has in place as long as they are legal.

What about the idea of “shomrim,” licensed/armed civilians with concealed weapons in every shul and day school?

The concept of having trained civilians is a positive if it’s done right. I personally don’t believe armed civilians in every shul and school is a good idea simply because of liability and safety factors. However, having trained unarmed greeters to work in tandem with the armed security professional is a good idea. It allows for better vetting of unidentified individuals.

Should shuls and schools conduct structured active shooter drills regularly? If so, should those drills be evaluated by experts while they are in progress and once they are completed?

Absolutely! Being proactive involves constant training and education. God forbid, in the event of an active shooter, everyone must know what they need to do. I believe these drills should be conducted on a monthly basis. Active shooter training is something that we offer as part of our consulting services. I am of the strong belief that security and law enforcement, although different, work best when there’s constant communication and coordination with local law enforcement agencies.

The Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ conducts security assessments for shuls and schools. Would you like to comment on the program?

I have been working with the Jewish federation for quite some time as one of their vetted vendors. They provide a comprehensive and thorough risk assessment, something every shul, school and business should do if they have not yet done it. There must be clear policies and procedures in place in the event of an emergency.

What is your perspective on high school, college or community adults getting concealed carry licenses?

I am not a proponent of licensed armed civilians carrying a weapon in shuls and schools. If you are going to choose to carry, then extensive firearms training should definitely be done on a constant basis.

What is important to know for securing an event that has an “Israel” factor to it since the events of
Oct. 7?

We all know the reality of the situation we are in. We have seen protests to these events, some escalating to violence. With extensive experience securing these types of events in the past, here are my recommendations:

  • Keep notifications and advertisements off of social media
  • DO NOT post the address on any ad
  • Registration must be required for screening entry to the event
  • Create a risk assessment for the event
  • Implement effective security strategies such as determining the appropriate number of personnel and other resources that may be needed
  • Coordinate the event with local law enforcement

The notion of holding an Israel related event without security measures in place is unfortunately not a reality anymore.

To inquire about services or training with 5S Security, contact them at (973) 963- 5002, or online at www.5s-security.com.


Ellie Wolf is a seasoned business spotlight, community news and Jewish Link Health Link writer. She is also a biofeedback specialist with two local psychology practices, does mikvah attendant and private client training for women who are afraid of the water. Life altering. Reach out at [email protected].

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