Home / Spring 2014 / 2014-03-13 / VSU begins hiring new security

VSU begins hiring new security

Written by: John Stephen

When students return from Spring Break, two new security officers will be roaming the grounds of VSU.

When the new security guards begin March 24, their main function will be to patrol the campus in the evening and early-morning hours, according to Thressea Boyd, VSU director of communications. These officers will report to the VSUPD but will not carry guns or make arrests.

Boyd said only two new security guards will be hired at this time, with the possibility of more being hired in the future.

This security addition comes after a VSU report revealed that the number of campus police officers does not meet the ideal ratio of three officers per 1,000 students. There has also been an increase in violent crimes recently, causing the VSU administration to evaluate security conditions on campus.

The Special Committee on Safety and Security at VSU presented a special report at the Faculty Senate’s Feb. 20 meeting, addressing campus safety problems.

“There simply is not enough personnel to carry out sufficient foot patrols as vehicular patrols receive priority since response time is of the essence,” the report said.

“We are always looking for ways to enhance campus safety and security,” said Sue Fuciarelli, VSU vice president for finance and administration, in an interview with the Valdosta Daily Times.

The university said it does not currently have the proper funds to increase the police force, making the new officers a low-expense solution to the security shortage on campus.

On Feb. 5, Dynamic Security Inc. (DSI), one of the nation’s largest security firms, advertised in the Valdosta Craigslist Jobs section, seeking “security officers for a college campus setting.” The pay for the position was listed as $8 an hour plus benefits.

DSI holds an ongoing contract with the University

When students return from Spring Break, two new security officers will be roaming the grounds of VSU.

When the new security guards begin March 24, their main function will be to patrol the campus in the evening and early-morning hours, according to Thressea Boyd, VSU director of communications. These officers will report to the VSUPD but will not carry guns or make arrests.

Boyd said only two new security guards will be hired at this time, with the possibility of more being hired in the future.

This security addition comes after a VSU report revealed that the number of campus police officers does not meet the ideal ratio of three officers per 1,000 students. There has also been an increase in violent crimes recently, causing the VSU administration to evaluate security conditions on campus.

The Special Committee on Safety and Security at VSU presented a special report at the Faculty Senate’s Feb. 20 meeting, addressing campus safety problems.

“There simply is not enough personnel to carry out sufficient foot patrols as vehicular patrols receive priority since response time is of the essence,” the report said.

“We are always looking for ways to enhance campus safety and security,” said Sue Fuciarelli, VSU vice president for finance and administration, in an interview with the Valdosta Daily Times.

The university said it does not currently have the proper funds to increase the police force, making the new officers a low-expense solution to the security shortage on campus.

On Feb. 5, Dynamic Security Inc. (DSI), one of the nation’s largest security firms, advertised in the Valdosta Craigslist Jobs section, seeking “security officers for a college campus setting.” The pay for the position was listed as $8 an hour plus benefits.

DSI holds an ongoing contract with the University

System of Georgia, which allowed VSU to contact DSI for assistance in beefing up security on campus.

“Interested applicants must be physically fit, have a clean criminal history, strong work ethic, good interpersonal skills and be able to pass a drug screen,” the ad said.

DSI has been in business for over 70 years and has accumulated a reputable portfolio, providing service to the Department of Defense as well as hundreds of colleges, universities and commercial businesses nationwide. According to DSI’s website, the firm has a 95 percent customer-retention rate.

“Each officer at DSI is extensively interviewed, screened, investigated and tested prior to any employment offer to enhance the quality of our employee base,” DSI’s website said.

Craigslist is a well-known website containing classified advertisements and forums for local areas around the world, connecting users to local jobs, services and goods, among other things.

Some students question how qualified the new officers are because of the method used to hire them.

“We’re not going to get the most effective security (from Craigslist),” Alexa Jeffcoat, freshman biology major, said.

Taylor Walker, sophomore undecided major, echoed that sentiment, saying the Craigslist ad won’t attract the right candidates for the job.

“There are some crazy people on Craigslist,” Walker said.

James Watkins, sophomore business administration major, is supportive of DSI’s decision to use Craigslist in their search, saying that the site reaches a large part of the community, the good as well as the bad.

“Everybody goes to Craigslist,” Watkins said. “They’ll find some good people.”

DSI did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

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