by Jasmine Westerdahl

Pacific Union College’s Public Safety department is now under the management of an outside security service provider: Allied Universal Security Services, Systems and Solutions. For many individuals, this seems to have been an unexpected development. Yet, this idea has been present for some time.

Approximately one year ago, Dr. Eric Anderson was the Interim President at PUC. While in office, he and the Vice President for Financial Administration, Brandon Parker, initiated the “Turnaround Plan.” It was created to refurbish the school and boost its financial status. This multiyear financial improvement plan encompasses many avenues of need, including an updated and in-progress school wide Master Plan. Evaluations of every aspect of PUC were conducted, from the dining commons to academics and finally, to campus security.

As 2018 approached, PUC realized that an
advancement in campus security would be a smart
move toward bettering the school. This decision
wasn’t made due to poor performance or financial
reasons. It was simply to take this opportunity of
bringing in an outside company that has extensive
knowledge and experience in advanced security
measures.

At an academic institution whose security practices have not varied significantly for many years, Parker explained how, based on no fault of their own, security services need an update. However, not to be misunderstood, he states that PUC’s Public Safety employees were efficient in their work and they are eligible for rehire under the new Allied Universal management.

When Allied Universal arrived, they said they would be willing to take their current staff, including students. The only requirement is that they must go through the company’s training. There are many benefits to being employed under Allied Universal. Individuals have more training opportunities that they wouldn’t have necessarily had through the college. This aids in the staff’s professional development and gives them a chance at a career beyond PUC and Public Safety.

When asked how PUC can benefit from Allied Universal as the new security experts, Parker responded, “What we’re looking for is that outside, broader scope, professional opinion from industry experts on what we should be doing and how we can do things differently. We are looking for a fresh perspective.”

There will be no drastic change in the way Public Safety runs at PUC. They will continue to have 24/7 monitoring, and continue to be on the lookout for safety improvements that can be made around campus.

Public Safety used to have difficulty running round-the-clock patrol due to a shortage in staff. As a result, PUC hired Brothers in Law Private Security to cover any un-staffed shifts. With Allied Universal now in the picture, this issue is no longer present.

When needed, Allied Universal will send their own employees to cover open patrol shifts. However, current PUC staff at Public Safety have priority and no jobs will be replaced by the incoming company and their people.

The security-related future of PUC looks bright Allied Universal guides Public Safety, providing training and expertise to enhance the current employee’s knowledge and skill.