Third Party Security Guards on Swarthmore Campus?

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.

Recently, the Gazette received an inquiry about the sighting of third-party security officers around campus. When asked about this in an email, Director of Public Safety Owen Redgrave said that there were, in fact, security guards from an “outside contract company” operating on campus.

Redgrave explained that these security guards from a company named Allied-Barton were effectively a new version of an institution called Garnet Patrol. The Garnet Patrol started 20 years ago with students serving “as extra eyes and ears for Public Safety when school is in session.” These students were later replaced due to “low and inconsistent student staffing issues” with part time Public Safety staff called Auxiliary Officers. However, problems of high turnover rates with the Auxiliary Officers resulted in the decision to replace them with workers from Allied-Barton. The shift is an attempt to “eliminate or minimize” the frequent periods when this important patrol was understaffed.

Redgrave noted “…there is nothing new or extra with this latest change. It has the same number of staff who work the same number of days/year, have the same hours and job responsibilities and factoring in all the related expenses, exists within the same pre-established budget.”

On their website, Allied-Barton lists themselves as “the largest American-owned security officer services company,” with “over 3,500 workers across the country working exclusively in higher education” across a variety of campuses.

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