On Feb. 10, the Meredith College community received an email informing them that Meredith has recently partnered with private security firm Guaranteed Monitoring and Security Services, LLC (GMSS), to provide supplemental campus security in addition to Meredith’s Campus Police. The Meredith Herald reached out to both Jean Jackson, Vice President for College Programs, and Al White, Chief of Campus Police, for statements regarding this recent addition to campus security. They responded in a joint statement.
According to their statement, the decision to partner with a private security company was made by members of the Executive Leadership Team (ELT), including Chief White, President Jo Allen, Dr. Jackson and Tammi Jackson, Vice President for Business and Finance.
Dr. Jackson and Chief White said, “The pandemic has put enormous pressures on scheduling—changing workforce numbers, dedicating an officer to check Campus Clear at the gatehouse and occasional needs for isolation [and] quarantine all compound the usual challenges of scheduling an operation that is always on duty.”
“Like many other colleges and universities, Meredith is deploying a hybrid security operation made up of our own employees and specialists contracted to serve as well during this challenging time,” they explained. “As always, the safety and security of our students, faculty, staff and visitors are at the forefront of all of our decision-making.”
Dr. Jackson stated, “We are very fortunate to have secured, thanks to the research done by Chief White, an agency founded and headed by a graduate of a small college who understands the culture of safety and respect we cultivate here at Meredith.”
The GMSS website states that it has “over 20 years of security experience.” Other clients of GMSS include entertainment companies, nail salons and restaurants.
Dr. Jackson and Chief White said GMSS officers “are currently in a period of orientation and training…to learn the duties and expectations we have of all [at Meredith].” To allow members of the Meredith community to identify campus police from GMSS staff, Meredith security staff will continue to wear black pants with burgundy or gray shirts, while the GMSS staff will wear all black.
By Rachel Van Horne, Associate Editor