Each month, we talk to an NTS instructor to find out their background, how they got involved in NTS, and their predictions for the future of the security industry.
This month, we’re speaking to Tommy Lewis of Lewis Clock & Electronic Systems.
What's your background in the security industry?
I installed my first system prior to 1970 in a small drug store. My work in the security industry was a spin off from having been in the 2-way radio business and TV sales and service back in 1948.
How did you get involved in NTS?
I got involved with NTS when Louisiana began requiring a state license in the late nineties. I retired from public education after 35 years in 1993 having taught physics, chemistry and math.
I got back into electronics field, so I had to take the NTS classes to become certified to do security work again. In order to get the course work as quickly as possible, I took Level IIB, IIA, and Level I backwards. Danny Northcutt, one of the Louisiana NTS instructors, asked me if I would consider becoming a NTS instructor, and I said yes.
How do you apply your background to the courses you've taught?
I have been in the electronics field of some type since the 40’s. I have "been there and done that” and have vast experiences and knowledge of electronics. It is very easy to relate to the students about most any electronics or electron- mechanical problems.
I have a BS degree in Physics and a Master degree in Chemistry, so I have been an instructor of some type since 1958.
What's the funniest experience you've had teaching a course?
When a student went to sleep at the beginning of a class and slept through the morning and woke up after lunch asking when we were going to have a break. (One of his buddies told me that he was out at the gambling casino all night.)
What do you find are the best ways for students to get the most out of NTS courses?
Asking students questions by their name and asking impromptu questions while making the presentation to get them more involved in the class work. The length of time for the class time needs to allow for this student involvement.
How have you seen the security industry change over the years?
The major change has been in the control panels and interior detection equipment. The alarm industry is now ”big business” with money the name of the game, not one-on-one with the customer.
What are your predictions for the future of the industry?
The equipment will become more automated and versatile.