by Mollee Harper, Senior Editor
Georgia Film News met with President and CEO Ben E. Payne, CSA of Risk Management and Associates of Georgia to learn about the custom security solutions and protection they provide to celebrities and film production studios and sets. Payne shares how his Conyers-based firm of over 32 years has expanded its offering specifically to meet the needs of Georgia’s growing film industry over the past several years, including setting up a second office in Eatonton.
Payne shared, “When I started this company I had been in the industry for a while. I always noticed security companies could do one or two things but no one company covered it all. When I started RMA, I decided we were gong to be a one stop shop. I want our clients to get everything they need in security and protection from one provider. We do it all.”
Payne offered, “The bulk of our business has been in the film industry and special events. I am an old retired police officer and have worked in security on the side my whole life. Early in my career, I provided security for several movies in Florida when I served as a police office there. I also covered several movies early on with my first security business.”
He continued, “Security for the entertainment industry is a very demanding business. When I saw how much Georgia was ramping up in the entertainment industry, I decided to get back into it.”
Risk Management Associates of Georgia (RMA) is a family-owned and operated, full-service, Security Solutions Company founded in 1996. Ben’s son, Jason officially joined the business in 2013 after serving 20 years in the Police Department and working in the business for many years. He serves as Vice President and oversees operations for RMA. Together, the owners have over 40 years of combined service in law enforcement and security.
Payne shared, “We have two branches in Georgia. Jason runs our Conyers office and I run our Eatonton location. We opened our second location in Eatonton to meet the needs of all of the entertainment industry development and filming in the area. We hope to do work with Tytan Pictures and their new studio.”
Headquartered in Conyers, Georgia, RMA offers a wide array of security personnel, products and protection services to executive and high-profile clients including foreign dignitaries, entertainers and athletes. RMA special protective services include executive protection, corporate investigations, special event security, canines and handlers, and off duty law enforcement. RMA employs and/or contracts a wide range of security professionals including armed security guards, unarmed security guards, remote monitoring personnel, patrol services and hospitality security specialists.
Payne explained, “We have 50 full-time employees that work on location at local studios and other facilities. We also have a pool of 100 law enforcement officers that work in security for us as contractors, as needed. We typically use certified police officers for our management and armed positions. For movie locations, we have a pool of 250 part-time employees that provide unarmed security and patrol services.”
Payne offered, “We do a lot of shadowing and escorting for dignitaries without impeding what they are here to do. We make sure they get to where they need to be, providing transportation or following them. We inspect locations before they arrive, and find the safest and quickest routes to get them there and back. There’s actually a lot involved. The key is to inspect what you expect.”
He continued, “Many times, celebrities and entertainers have their own security with them when they arrive in town. Sometimes, we are hired to provide security at the location, keep fans under control and protect the equipment on location. Film locations can be anywhere including a cornfield, the woods or at one of the major production studios.”
“If a producer calls us and has a celebrity flying in. We can pick them up and deliver them where they need to be, on time safely. A lot of celebrities know they need security but don’t want it. We will shadow them while allowing them to feel unencumbered by our presence. We really provide full security services customized to our clients and their specific needs and circumstances,” he said.
RMA leverages state-of-the-art technology with their highly credentialed team of security professionals to provide clients with optimum security and protective services. RMA also provides loss prevention services and conducts private investigations.
Payne offered, “We have been in most countries around the world and have enjoyed the international aspect of what we do too. We are providing security for many of the films currently being produced. We offer the right solutions for the entertainment industry, and are able to scale up as Georgia continues its rise. ”
Over the years, RMA has provided security and protected thousands of individuals, businesses and special events. RMA covered the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta as well as provided security for all 16 teams participating in the 1999 and 2003 Women’s World Cup.
“We pride ourselves on over 40 plus years in law enforcement and security. Our clients know they can count on that experience to provide the best security and protection for their celebrities, equipment and sets. I believe it makes a difference for those we still serve and protect.” Payne concluded.
Ben Payne has served as President and CEO of Risk Management Associates of Georgia since 1985. Payne was chosen as Director of Security for the 1999 and 2003 World Cup Soccer tournaments, where he was responsible for 16 agents, developing security and safety policies and procedures, training and assigning agents to each participating team. He is a former Law Enforcement Officer serving in numerous roles including Acting Chief of Police, Director of Special Operations Unit and Commander of CID (Criminal Investigations Division) and Uniforms divisions.
Payne holds his Bachelor’s degree in Risk Management and his Master’s degree in Criminal Justice from Nova Southeastern University. He received his designation as a Certified Polygraph Examiner from the American International Institute of Polygraph and his Deputy Sheriff certification from Broward County Criminal Justice Institute. He is a United States Air Force Veteran.
Risk Management Associates of Georgia is a proud sponsor of Georgia Film News and a preferred partner for security services. For more information on Ben Payne and Risk Management Associates of Georgia visit their website at: http://www.rmagainc.com/.