Doyle Security is among an elite group of local companies: family-owned, founded in Rochester and marking a milestone. 100 years ago, John A. Doyle was working as a detective in the Rochester Police Department. On March 17, 1919, he left the force to start a security firm in his own name. “There was an emerging market at that time for private investigative work,” says John G. Doyle Jr., President and CEO of Doyle Security. “My great-grandfather saw that need and decided to transition from his police work and hang out a shingle. He was very entrepreneurial, saw that market and jumped in.”
As the company celebrates its centennial it’s rolling out its archives, which include John A’s leather holster, security badges, and a memento that lead Doyle Security to contact Channel 8.
Tucked away in storage was a 56-year-old reel of film marked WROC. It contained a news show that aired February 20th, 1963, with News 8’s first anchorman, Tom Decker, interviewing the former Vice President of Doyle Security, Jack Ashlee. Ashlee was demonstrating a lie detector machine and showing Decker how it works. The show was called Decker and Company, a half an hour of talk produced at Channel 8 during the early years of local TV news.
Jack Doyle, the Business Development Manager at Doyle Security, says it was fun to see the film for the first time. “We don’t really have any video of Jack other than this and to discover it and to see what he was doing and how he got involved in the community in this fashion was really something special to see.”
Both Ashlee and Decker have long passed but the interview provides a rare glimpse of a shared history. Today Doyle Security is run by John A.’s great-grandson. A homegrown company, still going strong and making news. “Another 100 years!” he says. “We’ll take it 100 years at a time.”
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