Kathleen O’Toole, the former Boston Police Commissioner, has joined the board of Carlow-headquartered protection services company Netwatch. O’Toole will be advising Netwatch on its expansion into the US.
Set up by David Walsh and Niall Kelly in 2003, Netwatch employs more than 90 people in Ireland, the UK and US. Walsh now acts as group CEO, while Kelly is the company’s technical director.
Netwatch was one of the first companies in Ireland to combine specialist video transmission technologies with satellite communications to provide protection solutions for clients. It provides real-time remote security monitoring to businesses and private residences in Ireland and internationally. The Netwatch system uses advanced protection technologies, including GPS tracking, audio visual detection, personal protector equipment and wireless perimeter security cordons.
Back in November, Netwatch announced a €3m investment to facilitate its expansion into the US. At the time, the company said the move would spawn the creation of 15 jobs in its new Boston office by the end of 2012, as well as a further 15 jobs at its Carlow headquarters. In 2010, the company invested more than €5m in its communication hub in Carlow.
Wash said the company already monitors US sites for some of Netwatch’s Irish-based multinational clients, so the further US expansion would be a "natural progression" for the company.
As for Kathleen O’Toole, she is due to complete a six-year term as chief inspector of An Garda Síochána Inspectorate in April.
Stateside, O’Toole climbed through the ranks of policing in Massachusetts. She was the first female police commissioner of Boston, when appointed by the Mayor of Boston at the time, Thomas M Menino, in 2004. It was in 2006 that O’Toole departed the Boston Police Department and relocated to Ireland.
She was also a member of the Independent Commission on Policing in Northern Ireland – the Patten Commission.
‘Foremost policing and security expert’
Walsh said O’Toole is one of the "foremost policing and security experts" – her knowledge and expertise will be invaluable to Netwatch as it expands in the US market.
O’Toole also spoke about how Netwatch has developed "very innovative crime deterrent solutions", which she said had "changed the face of the security industry in Ireland".
"The Netwatch managed service is ideally tailored to fit the US market and there are many opportunities for the company in Boston and beyond," added O’Toole.