Military veterans run growing Rifle security firm |

Military veterans run growing Rifle security firm

Brent Jagger with Citadel Security speaks with staff members at Valley View Hospital during a training meeting.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent |

With military training embedded in its core, Rifle’s Citadel Security in 2017 will further its push to become nationally recognized.

For more than a decade, CEO Justin Hale watched Citadel Security grow from a post-military career idea to a security firm that provides services for events such as the X Games, Aspen Food and Wine, Country Jam and much more. After serving stateside in the military for eight years, Hale opened Citadel Security in Rifle in 2007.

Now at least 75 percent of the management staff are former military personnel.

“When I was working in this area, I realized that there was a gap with law enforcement and security, and I quickly realized that we could be a paramilitary type of security that no one else could offer,” he said.

Now the company offers anything from on-site and event security to personal protection and basic and advanced training courses. Citadel provides security for various events throughout Colorado and to individuals such as celebrities, political figures and athletes.

As a former member of the military, over the years Hale said he has gained a knowledge and understanding of the industry and community, giving him the perfect background with which to open the company. He came up with the idea as he was serving as the head of security for an ambassador to the United States, and Rifle became an ideal fit as it was where his final station was in the Army. Following the ambassador’s retirement, Hale opened Citadel.

“We enjoy being headquartered in Rifle because we really care about the community,” Hale said. “This is where we grew as a company, and we care about the people here.”

What makes Citadel Security such an immediate success is that it offers a service that is a real need for the area, he said. Courthouses and hospitals that cannot afford or do not have the resources to hire a police officer for security can turn to Citadel Security as a simple alternative.

“The relationship between us and local law enforcement is huge to our success. They trust us, and we have a huge level of respect for them,” Hale explained.

While many of the members of Citadel Security are former members of the military, it is not a requirement, Hale stressed.

“Military puts you through specific training, such as thinking on the spot and rationally thinking through things, which is why they are a good fit for us,” he explained. “But it’s not like you have to have been in the military to move up within the company.”

Last year the company launched nationwide as it continues to look to expand. Citadel Security currently has offices in Salt Lake City, Grand Junction, Denver and Columbia, Missouri. It provides services throughout Colorado, and in parts of Utah, Idaho and Missouri. Even still, according to Hale, Citadel Security is a big job creator for the area, providing more than 250 jobs in its home region alone.

Most of the firm’s work is on contract to provide security for colleges, courthouses and hospitals. It has provided security for individuals at courthouses from Eagle County to Montrose County. Hospital security is where Hale sees the company growing in the future.

As Citadel Security continues to look to expand in 2017, the company will be launching a training division and will be looking to open up more storefronts as the year progresses. Citadel Security is headquartered at 201 W. 3rd St. in downtown Rifle and can be reached by phone at 877-639-4301 or online at

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