Praetorian Digital, the 20-year-old digital media company serving the public safety space, has been acquired by a private equity firm and merged with Lexipol, the two businesses announced on Friday, forming a new venture aimed at creating a singular education, training and media platform for public safety professionals and local governments.
Together, Praetorian’s portfolio of digital media sites—including PoliceOne.com and FireRescue1.com, and its learning management system (LMS), which includes FireRescue1 Academy—and Lexipol’s state-specific policy and training products will funnel into one of the largest sources of information for public sector with 200,000 articles and reports and 4,000 training courses.
The terms of the sale have not been disclosed.
“[Lexipol has] a platform for delivering policies to police departments and fire departments and policy training. We have an LMS that delivers online training and training content. Online training and policies are two sides of the same coin, so we’re going to be linking those two platforms in the near term and then we’re looking to combine components of that going forward,” Alex Ford, CEO of Praetorian Digital, tells Folio:.
Since launching in 1999, Praetorian has expanded its offerings into three pillars, between its online service content, its LMS, which takes the published content and wraps it into training programs, and its grants platforms, which helps public safety departments find federal funding opportunities. Now, Ford says the merger will allow the Praetorian team to further help their audiences by weaving in information and training related to policy in the form of online content, required training and certifications and more.
Ford, who was named CEO of the combined company, continues that the ultimate goal of the merger is to create an environment that allows both departments and individual responders get training information from a singular, well-rounded platform.
“With the evolution of digital content, I see that learning and content falls along a spectrum. On one end, you have your articles and short-form, digestible content, and then you have longer pieces and in-depth articles addressing a topic, like micro-training courses. Our vision is to really cover that entire spectrum, and when we talk to our customers, they’re really looking for content that helps them be better prepared and more effective when they’re out there in the field.”
And beyond the departments they already serve (police, fire, EMS and corrections), Ford hopes that the new resources from the merger will allow the company to do more in the broader local government sector, like produce content and training for the public works department, and going beyond that to tap into untouched, adjacent fields like private security and dispatch and communications, which face many of the same challenges that public safety faces.
At this time, Ford says that there are no plans for layoffs and that he will be supported by a management team made-up of both Praetorian and Lexipol. Michael Davis, who has been serving as CEO of Lexipol, will join the board of directors for the combined company.
Currently, Praetorian reaches just under 2 million at over 7,000 individual police departments, fire departments and municipalities, and Lexipol services more than 3,500 agencies throughout 35 states. Praetorian has also been steadily growing over the past several years with the 2015 acquisition of Kaplan Professional Education’s Fire & EMS training unit, which allowed it to expand into a training and education provider, and the acquisition of online student development tool Evals in 2017.