CRESTVIEW — Guards, threat assessments and concealed-carry weapons training are among security services Trei McMullen offers at SYOTOS, LLC.
He and a staff of 10 have clients including the Destin Yacht Club; Brotula’s Seafood House & Steamer; and most recently the Emerald Coast Convention Center.
McMullen was a counter-intelligence special agent in the U.S. Army, and medically retired in 2013 after 10 years with the 7th Special Forces. He started SYOTOS as a military contractor overseas. He began running it from his home in 2017.
"SYOTOS stands for 'See You on the Other Side,'" the Crestview resident said. "It's a company that I dedicated to all my brothers and sisters that I've lost in this battle against terrorism."
SYOTOS also takes on insider threats and vulnerability issues a client may experience. He said criminals may gain access to sensitive company information by connecting with company employees on a social level.
"People may target them in online dating or Facebook or something like that. They need to be aware of these type of things so that they can kind of prevent themselves from falling into a situation where they're wrapped up in a trial because they didn't even know that a person was using them until it was too late," McMullen said.
SYOTOS helped a Destin client end theft and trespassing issues by improving security measures.
"This place was super secure. They had cameras. Every door has a locked code, and somebody still broke into their (business)," McMullen said.
He said companies and high-net-worth individuals who need executive protection should consider their security efforts before they even break ground on a home or business.
"If you had the idea, think about security. A lot of people will get cameras or an alarm … and that's great, but who's reviewing that 24 hours of footage? So you actually don't know if anything happened or not. You just know you have cameras, and since you don't see anything missing, you didn't know it. But really, there was a whole group of people that came up and have been casing your business for the last two weeks every day.
"Plus ... violence is kind of going up. Believe it or not. There's been a lot of more ... terrorist-like attacks, and this area is not (immune). So I would rather them be more prepared, and it never happen, than be unprepared, and something happens," McMullen said.
McMullen is writing a book, available by the fall of 2018 called "Taking the Hard Rights," about his life experiences and his advice for people undergoing some of the same things he has.
He and his wife, Lesby, have two children.
Note: This article has been updated to list the full name of Brotula’s Seafood House & Steamer.