Many of you have surely seen the security staff here at St. John’s, primarily as they direct traffic in the school’s back parking lot. However, it’s less likely that you know much about them, despite their important role in the school. To help shed some light on their specific jobs around the school and their reasons for doing the job, I spoke to a member of the security staff, Gerry Jackson, and Mrs. Bell, SJC dean of students .
Jackson, who has been working with the school for six years, said the company he works for got its start doing after-hours security for construction sites. It now takes on a variety of security jobs, including concierge work and our own school’s security. He also told me what he finds important about the job: “The administrative desire is to make sure that it’s a safe environment for everyone on the campus, and I’ll try to keep that tradition going forward.” Usually at the school between 7:00 am and 4:00 pm on a regular schedule, Jackson manages the flow of traffic and makes sure the flow of pedestrians runs smoothly. Lately things have been busier for him and the rest of the staff, as construction on the new gym limits parking space and necessitates redirection towards the fields as an overflow lot more often.
Mrs. Bell also offered some insight into why the security staff were hired: “It’s about the needs of our community and the overall safety of our students.” As far as what the security personnel have added to the school, Mrs. Bell believes they help the students feel safer and have improved the traffic flow. She also said it reassures parents, because it helps them to know that the safety of the students is a focus at the school. Finally, she mentioned their after-hours contributions in making sure the school is properly locked at the end of the day and that students still at the school have someone with them until they are picked up.