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Robert Tucker 1996

When Robert S. Tucker was in law school, each working day found him commuting among three of New York City’s five boroughs. He woke up in Manhattan, crossed the Triboro Bridge to his day job in Queens as a special assistant to the district attorney, then traveled over the Whitestone Bridge and through the Bronx for his night classes at Pace Law School in White Plains. “People would remember me—if they remembered me at all—as the guy who was always five minutes late to class,” Tucker recalls. “And this was all before the invention of EZPass!”

After graduating from Pace, Tucker worked for several years as an ADA in the Queens District Attorney’s office, as the un-official chief liaison to the law enforcement community. Five years ago, he became CEO of T&M Protection Resources, a security-consulting firm that provides security, and investigative services to corporations, institutions, office buildings, and private clients. “Having grown up in Manhattan, I knew all these people from private school who ended up working in private industry,” Tucker says. “In my work as a lawyer, I had all of these police relationships from the DA’s office. I decided to marry up those two worlds by buying T&M.”

Business did well in his boutique firm, Tucker says, and then 9/11 happened. “Suddenly,” Tucker says, “every business in the city needed extra security.” Private security firms such as his, Tucker adds, “are protecting the most critical infrastructures in our country—from Con Ed, to Indian Point, to the financial community—and in far greater numbers than what can possibly be covered by police departments.”

Today, T&M Protection Resources has a reported $40 million in revenue and offers services that include personal and corporate bodyguard protection, technical surveillance countermeasures, and detection of explosive devices. But it’s not all such cloak-and-dagger stuff, Tucker says. “The vast majority of what we do is overt, very much a service that you see all the time.”

Although he’s no longer practicing law, Tucker says he has no regrets about having earned his legal degree. “A law degree is a true generalist’s degree,” he says. “It has helped me to think analytically—that’s a skill I use every second. Pace gave me an unbelievable opportunity and I am forever in their debt.  In their very unpretentious way they made me who I am. My legal education at Pace gave me the foundation that I stand on when I’m out in the community doing what I do.”

Today Tucker is not much less peripatetic than when he was a law student at Pace. He’s still frequently on the go, only now it’s to check up on operations at his clients’ locations throughout the city. But thanks to EZPass—and his cellphone, pager, walkie-talkie, and BlackBerry--he’s never very far from the office.