Danny Earl Lovelady is chief executive officer and president of Ark of Safety Security Solutions, a private security patrol team that the 5 Corners Improvement District has enlisted to enhance public safety along business corridors throughout the area.
The company’s around-the-clock patrols began April 24.
Lovelady, 62, is married to Valerie Wright-Lovelady, who serves as the company’s chief human resources officer. The couple has a blended family of five adult sons, a daughter-in-law and six grandchildren. Lovelady took time out of his frenetic schedule — during which he serves multiple clients — to chat with the 5 Corners District. Here’s what he had to say:
Q: What are your thoughts about the new security contact with the 5 Corners Improvement District?
A: I, as well as the entire Ark team, am extremely humbled and equally excited to serve the 5 Corners community as the new private security service provider. We are committed to providing a service of excellence by responding to the needs of our community for our people.
Q: What do you feel is special/unique about the community? How many people live there?
A: The 5 Corners community is unique and special because of the ongoing transformation and the commitment to inclusivity. Citizens and businesses have a sense of hope and pride in their own future. The deliberate efforts to attract new business and employment centers by Council Member Martha Castex-Tatum and district leaders make the community a favorable business destination within the city of Houston. In the 2020 U.S. Census, the 5 Corners/District K population was over 210,000 residents. It is reasonable to deduce (that) the current population is well beyond what was recorded three years ago.
Q: Describe the crime situation in 5 Corners. Is crime up or down over the last two years?
A: 5 Corners has the third-lowest (safest) crime climate in the city and continues on a downward trend.
Q: What impact do you believe the Ark of Safety contract will have on the picture?
A: Ark of Safety’s primary role is to assist our prominent Houston Police Department (HPD Southwest Division) with increasing levels of safety and security for the business community. Although, we are not to be compared with nor mistaken for law enforcement, together with HPD we are bound to reduce non-violent crimes. Specifically, our charge is to serve as a deterrent to non-violent crimes that impact businesses, places of worship, and community areas. We have a visible vehicular patrol presence and stand ready to assist law enforcement officers, professionally and properly, upon request.
Q: Have you always been interested in security/law enforcement?
A: God allowed me to serve in the U.S. Army for 29 years in various leadership roles and capacities around the world until my retirement as colonel. The culminating point of service was my assignment as chief of emergency preparedness for FEMA Region 6 (Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana) during President Obama’s administration. It was this final call to duty which propelled me into the private security industry.
Q: Please share the highlights of your experience in security/law enforcement.
A: As a career military officer, we are taught that we, the armed forces, are built to fight the nation’s wars regardless of the location. So, when it comes to physical security, it is part of my DNA. Being a former commander of a nuclear-capable ordnance unit, we practice security measures from countless threats. Many citizens fail to realize that federal military personnel cannot be involved in the formation of domestic laws and the enforcement of policies; therefore, I have a sincere appreciation for the selfless service of our public servant law enforcement officers. Our employees/officers share this respectful sentiment; we stand ready to assist our public servants upon request.
Q: When and why did you decide to open your own security company?
A: We founded our security company on the fundamental ideal of creating lifetime inheritances as a legacy for our family’s future generations. Our goal from the onset was to hire officers who are also family-oriented and interested in building legacies for their family.
Ark of Safety is a unique family-owned company, one of the few companies (of our size) offering full-service security integration. What that means is our company is a full-service security company offering security personnel and electronic security systems. Soon we will have our own security training academy, opening up a variety of job opportunities for each of our current officers’ family members. This will help them to become qualified and eager to pursue new careers at the Ark Academy.
Q: Please provide a “snapshot” of Ark of Safety.
A: The company has over 50 employees – 21 commissioned officers and 31 non-commissioned officers and my spouse, Valerie.
Q: Talk about your job as a FEMA administrator during the Obama era, when you worked with the military to ensure all their assets would be available nationwide during a FEMA emergency.
A: When I was at FEMA, I was a colonel and the representative for all military forces during a national declared disaster. My team and I were called in when the FEMA director determined it was time to call in their best asset, the U.S. military, to assist the citizens in any of the five states that we serviced. As the senior leadership officer, I had at my disposal all of the Department of Defense resources in a five-state area to rescue, relieve and restore communities to a self-sustainable level.
In my role, I coordinated with local, county, state, and national emergency leaders to ensure that we operated in a synchronized and concerted manner. We engaged only if requested due to the size and complexity of our units. As a native of Texas and as a Houstonian, my FEMA position proved to be the pinnacle of my military career.
Q: Have you had to face any personal crimes/safety situations that helped to shape who you have become? Please elaborate.
A: As a Black man in society, it seems inevitable that I and others like me might face situations that play out based on biases and pre-determined notions. In potentially dangerous situations my military training was a key defense and aided in tactics of de-escalation. My situational and environmental awareness skills, along with spiritual discernment and self-control, have helped me to avoid common pitfalls.
As a part of my legacy, I look for opportunities to pass on these life-saving techniques to my five sons, four grandsons and to the employees/officers who are open to my sharing. As a father and grandfather, I listen to the younger men more intently as they describe their climate so that I might gain an understanding. Then can I expect to serve as a meaningful mentor in an ever-evolving society.
Q: What advice do you have for the community to increase safety for them and their families?
A: The most important piece of advice I have for the community is at all times be aware of your surroundings! Bad guys target citizens who are often distracted, not paying attention to the environment. Evil is always lurking so become more vigilant, always searching for solutions to cut off evil at its core.