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Security firms join forces in an era of active shooters

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Strategos International and Clarence M. Kelley & Associates are combining decades of experience to safeguard clients in an increasingly dangerous age.

Vaughn Baker, president, Strategos International, [email protected], 888.569.5444

Dayton. El Paso. Virginia Beach. The factor tying these cities together is not summer tourist traffic but mass shootings and more than 40 deaths in 2019. Global terror has become domestic.

Businesses view workplace violence as a top priority, but feel unprepared to face it. Schools and even churches face the threat of merciless attackers.

In this era of escalating violence, two Kansas City leaders in security are joining forces to protect people and property.

Strategos International ( has merged with Clarence M. Kelley & Associates (, resulting in six decades of combined experience and knowledge.

Strategos, founded in 2002, has provided security training to more than 160,000 people in the business, law enforcement, military, school and non-profit sectors in 15 countries. The firm is a leader in security consulting, tactical training, surveillance, investigations and executive protection.

Clarence M. Kelley (1911-1997) was an icon in the world of security and law enforcement. The former FBI director and Kansas City police chief formed the firm that bears his name in 1982.

“Clarence M. Kelley definitely leaves a legacy you take seriously,” said Vaughn Baker, president of Grandview, Mo.-based Strategos International. “This merger is an opportunity for us to continue his legacy as a champion for clients. In many ways, today’s security challenges are even greater than the ones he faced. Mass shooters are setting fatality records. Global terrorism has become domestic. Combining our expertise and resources gives us more power to help our clients prevail over these heightened security challenges.”

Kelley was a native Kansas Citian and local FBI agent before becoming its police chief (1961-1973) and director of the FBI (1973-1978). His firm, now known as CMKA, serves clients including small businesses, Fortune 100 corporations, the U.S. government and U.S. military.

When the company’s CEO, Todd Dupriest, announced his retirement this year, the two firms already had a track record of collaboration.

“This merger is the logical and natural fruition of a great business relationship,” Baker said.

Dupriest said his company considered several merger proposals, but turned them all down.

“Each time, the decision to step away from the deal was based on a conflict in core values with the other party,” he said. “We feel strongly that the team at Strategos will not only continue the legacy of service the company has developed over the last 37 years, but will build on it.

“We've had the opportunity to work with Strategos on many occasions and our business and strategic thinking line up well. We believe this transition will allow us to bring a greater depth of services and expertise to our clients.”

Mark Warren, executive vice president of Strategos, said CMKA customers won’t miss a beat. The combined companies will provide all of the services (and more) clients have been receiving.

“The beauty of this merger is that no one will even feel a ‘speed bump,’” Warren said. “CMKA clients and Strategos clients will continue receiving top-flight service. Both groups of customers will benefit from an increased level of expertise and experience.”

Baker said the merger is more than a business footnote.

“It’s a concrete action with real-life results,” he said. “It’s a step forward in protecting people and property in uncertain times.”


• Strategos International
• Clarence M. Kelley bio (FBI)

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