Our Team.

“Our company is passionate about our employees – and we recognize that our highly dedicated team of security professionals are the foundation of our past success and future growth.” ~ Bland Cologne

At FCS, our Chain of Command is an inverted pyramid. At the very top are the security officers in the field who work for you each and every day. The rest of us work for them.

Chaiman/CEO

Bland Cologne

Bland Cologne has over thirty-seven (37) years of experience in law enforcement, intelligence and corporate security. He began his career as a police officer with the City of Falls Church, Virginia Police Department, and continued as a Staff Instructor with the Northern Virginia Criminal Justice Academy. Later, he became a Special Agent with the United States Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) where he served multiple deployments both overseas and aboard Navy ships. Bland left NCIS to become Director of Corporate Security & Safety for American Express Travel in Florida. In 1992, he started Brandon & Associates, a Jacksonville Private Investigative firm which became First Coast Security Services in 1999. Since that time, FCS has experienced tremendous growth under Bland’s leadership by focusing on its core values of service to the customer and concern for its employees.

Education: Bachelor of Science, American University; Graduate Studies, George Washington University; Professional certifications, Northern Virginia Criminal Justice Academy, Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, and National School for Bank Security. Bland proudly serves on the Board of Directors for Crime Stoppers.

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Chief Operating Officer

Jim Casey

Jim Casey had a distinguished career of over thirty-two (32) years in law enforcement culminating in his assignment as the Special Agent in Charge (SAC) of the FBI’s Jacksonville Field Office from 2008-2012. Prior to his FBI service he was a police officer for five years in Arlington, Virginia, and served for two years as a Special Agent with the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security. In 2004-2005 he was a Director of Intelligence Programs on the National Security Council (NSC) at the George W. Bush White House. For two years after retiring from the FBI, Jim was the leader and founding partner of a boutique investigative consulting firm, and in 2013-2017 he served as the Vice President for Asset Protection at the national retailer Stein Mart, Inc. Jim joined FCS as Chief Operating Officer in late 2017.

Education: Bachelor of Science in Political Science, James Madison University; Master of Arts in Criminology, Indiana State University; Graduate Diploma in International Relations, the University of London, U.K.; Jim proudly serves on the Board of Directors for Crime Stoppers and is a member of the International Security Managers Association, Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI, and Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) Lodge #113.

Chief Operating Officer

Jim Casey

Jim Casey had a distinguished career of over thirty-two (32) years in law enforcement culminating in his assignment as the Special Agent in Charge (SAC) of the FBI’s Jacksonville Field Office from 2008-2012. Prior to his FBI service he was a police officer for five years in Arlington, Virginia, and served for two years as a Special Agent with the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security. In 2004-2005 he was a Director of Intelligence Programs on the National Security Council (NSC) at the George W. Bush White House. For two years after retiring from the FBI, Jim was the leader and founding partner of a boutique investigative consulting firm, and in 2013-2017 he served as the Vice President for Asset Protection at the national retailer Stein Mart, Inc. Jim joined FCS as Chief Operating Officer in late 2017.

Education: Bachelor of Science in Political Science, James Madison University; Master of Arts in Criminology, Indiana State University; Graduate Diploma in International Relations, the University of London, U.K.; Jim proudly serves on the Board of Directors for Crime Stoppers and is a member of the International Security Managers Association, Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI, and Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) Lodge #113.

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Chief Administrative Officer

Chris Austin

Chris Austin has twenty-four (24) years in the security industry. He began his career in 1994 with Brinks Armored Car. In 1996, he was promoted to Branch Manager for the Jacksonville district. In 1997, he was promoted to City Manager in Orlando, and in 2000, he was promoted to District Manager for the South Eastern United States becoming the youngest person to hold that position. In 2007, Chris was recruited to FCS as the Business Development Manager and was promoted to Vice President in 2008. In 2014, Chris was promoted to Chief Operating Officer and in 2017, Chris was promoted to Chief Administrative Officer, where he is passionately focused on performance, value, and long-term strategy both at FCS and in the industry.

Education: Bachelor of Finance, University of North Florida. Chris proudly serves on the Board of Directors for the National Association of Security Companies (NASCO) and the Sulzbacher Center, a Jacksonville non-profit focused on Homelessness and need.

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Sr. Vice President of Operations

AJ Romano

AJ Romano is a high energy executive with twenty (20) years of experience in the security industry in almost every position of management. In his current position at FCS as Senior Vice President, he is primarily responsible for implementation and oversight of large client accounts. He brings to this a demonstrated ability to develop tactical and strategic business plans, reduce operational expenses and improve success. He is adept at developing metrics for both the company and the client to measure performance and value. AJ has an extensive background in project management, budgeting and forecasting, human relations management, negotiation and presentation skills, production and operations management, and managing large staffs in a multi-site, multi-state environment. Prior to joining FCS in 2010, AJ was with Brinks Armored Car for ten years in numerous management positions culminating in his appointment as the District Manager for Central Florida and Louisiana.

Education: Bachelor of Business Administration, Management & Marketing, University of North Florida; MBA, University of Phoenix, with 5 classes remaining. AJ has been recognized multiple times for his leadership and performance and was chosen as Vendor of the Year by Chase Bank for leading recovery efforts during Hurricane Katrina.

Sr. Vice President of Operations

AJ Romano

AJ Romano is a high energy executive with twenty (20) years of experience in the security industry in almost every position of management. In his current position at FCS as Senior Vice President, he is primarily responsible for implementation and oversight of large client accounts. He brings to this a demonstrated ability to develop tactical and strategic business plans, reduce operational expenses and improve success. He is adept at developing metrics for both the company and the client to measure performance and value. AJ has an extensive background in project management, budgeting and forecasting, human relations management, negotiation and presentation skills, production and operations management, and managing large staffs in a multi-site, multi-state environment. Prior to joining FCS in 2010, AJ was with Brinks Armored Car for ten years in numerous management positions culminating in his appointment as the District Manager for Central Florida and Louisiana.

Education: Bachelor of Business Administration, Management & Marketing, University of North Florida; MBA, University of Phoenix, with 5 classes remaining. AJ has been recognized multiple times for his leadership and performance and was chosen as Vendor of the Year by Chase Bank for leading recovery efforts during Hurricane Katrina.

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Vice President of Operations, National Capital Region (NCR)

Paul Larson

Paul Larson has almost thirty (30) years of experience in law enforcement and security. In 1988, he began his career with the Arlington County Police Department in Arlington, Virginia. He served as the Captain, Third District and Evening Patrol Section Commander; one of his many important roles was as the Pentagon Logistics Commander, First Responder, September 11, 2001. He also served as Captain, Special Operations Section Commander from 2006 to 2008 and as Captain, Internal Affairs Division Commander in 2008. After serving in the Arlington County Police Department, he was recruited to the Arlington County Sheriff’s Office in Arlington, Virginia where worked as the Chief Deputy, the number two position in the department, until 2017. In July 2017, Paul joined FCS as the Director of Operations, National Capital Region (NCR) and is located in the Chantilly, Virginia office.

Education: Associate of Arts in Criminal Justice, Montgomery Community College; Bachelor of Science in Criminology, University of Maryland, College Park; Master of Public Administration, George Mason University

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Director of Proposal and Contract Management

Ashli Archer

Ashli Archer has over twenty (20) years of experience in education and textbook publishing. Ashli worked for Oxford University Press in New York City, where she edited English Language textbooks. She also worked for Florida State College at Jacksonville, where she served as both an administrator and a faculty member. Ashli joined FCS in March 2018 as Director of Proposal and Contract Management.

Education: Bachelor of Arts, English and Italian, University of Georgia; Master of Arts, Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, Michigan State University.

Director of Proposal and Contract Management

Ashli Archer

Ashli Archer has over twenty (20) years of experience in education and textbook publishing. Ashli worked for Oxford University Press in New York City, where she edited English Language textbooks. She also worked for Florida State College at Jacksonville, where she served as both an administrator and a faculty member. Ashli joined FCS in March 2018 as Director of Proposal and Contract Management.

Education: Bachelor of Arts, English and Italian, University of Georgia; Master of Arts, Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, Michigan State University.

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Director of Training

Jerry Smith

Jerry Smith was an accomplished Senior-Level Naval Officer with over twenty-five years (25) years of experience leading and managing teams at both the operational and administrative levels. He was responsible for a wide range of security and anti-terrorism related activities, including designing and implementing comprehensive protection structures to ensure seamless continuance of military training, operations, procedures, and programs. He demonstrated an ability to identify critical issues, develop improvements, coordinate multiple projects, and ensure compliance with federal policies and regulations in achieving organizational objectives. Jerry displayed solid capabilities in completing time-sensitive and dangerous missions while providing leadership, guidance and high morale to personnel under his command. He joined FCS in 2013 as an Area Operations Manager, and 2015 became the Director of Training.

Education: Associate of Arts, Criminal Justice, Florida State College at Jacksonville; Bachelor of Arts, Criminal Justice/International Relations, University of North Florida; Graduate Level Diploma, National Security Decision Making, United States Naval War College; Master of Arts in National Security Affairs, Naval Post Graduate School; CPR/AED/First Aid Instructor; NRA Firearms Instructor; Numerous relevant training and train-the-trainer certifications in Safety, Executive Leadership, Anti-Terrorism, Maritime Security, Military Law Enforcement, and Emergency Management.

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Director of Training

Christopher Perez

Christopher Perez has over twenty (20) years of uniquely diversified security and law enforcement training and management experience. Professional experiences include top secret military security, federally contracted and municipal law enforcement, intellectual property and network security administration, personal fitness/self-defense education, classroom instruction, shooting facility management, firearms training program development, weapons maintenance, and scenario-based course design. He has held training positions including USMC Security Forces Battalion Instructor for the U.S. Marine Corps, Police Officer/Academy Instructor for the City of Orlando, Orlando, Florida, Personal Security Detachment Manager for Provider Earnings Protective Services, Director of Training for G4S Government Solutions, and Director of Training for Protective Services Training Academy. Chris joined FCS as National Director of Training and is located in the Chantilly, Virginia office.

Education: Chris has years of military training as well as numerous certifications and instructor certifications.

Director of Training

Christopher Perez

Christopher Perez has over twenty (20) years of uniquely diversified security and law enforcement training and management experience. Professional experiences include top secret military security, federally contracted and municipal law enforcement, intellectual property and network security administration, personal fitness/self-defense education, classroom instruction, shooting facility management, firearms training program development, weapons maintenance, and scenario-based course design. He has held training positions including USMC Security Forces Battalion Instructor for the U.S. Marine Corps, Police Officer/Academy Instructor for the City of Orlando, Orlando, Florida, Personal Security Detachment Manager for Provider Earnings Protective Services, Director of Training for G4S Government Solutions, and Director of Training for Protective Services Training Academy. Chris joined FCS as National Director of Training and is located in the Chantilly, Virginia office.

Education: Chris has years of military training as well as numerous certifications and instructor certifications.

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