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New Year, New Family

The New Security Team Joins Maclay for a New Semester

Photo by Tobias Tullius on Unsplash

From a new year and a new semester to possibly new classes, coming back to school after a winter break means a lot of change. The  most unexpected change of this year at Maclay is the new security team. The new security team is composed of six officers who were selected through a security company after detailed steps, such as a request for proposal process, pre-screening of the officers’ backgrounds, providing credentials and training.

“I’m not sure how the last company was, but anything that they were lacking, we’re basically trying to make it better and make a great look for Maclay,” Officer Myisha Bell said. “We actually want to improve anything that they were doing wrong.”

Following a substantial increase in rates of a previous security company, Maclay directors felt a need to look for a new company with the best service level at the most reasonable price to ensure that the tuition and funds for the school are being spent wisely. The decision for a change, however, was something that had been already planned since evaluation of security is a normal cycle that Maclay goes through every two or three years.

“We want to make sure that what we have is still a good fit,” Director of Facilities and Operations Jim Partridge said. “It’s a balance of making sure that everybody is protected and that we are doing what is right and just versus cost.”

The main duties of security officers include limiting people on campus to those with a legitimate reason, helping guests navigate, solving conflicts and eliminating threats. Their primary purpose is to keep the campus secure.

“The most important part is to make sure that everyone is safe and that no one is allowed on campus that is not supposed to be here,” Officer China Patterson said. “The protection of kids, staff and parents is the most important part.”

To make the security system even stronger, Maclay directors are in the process of implementing other changes, one of which is replacing a four-digit code with a physical device that will be used to arm or disarm the security system on particular buildings. The device will contain credentials of the owner so that the system can keep a record of who entered the building.

“We’re here to provide college preparatory education at a higher level than you would expect from a public school, but even if learning doesn’t happen, we absolutely have to keep everybody safe,” Partridge said. “Safety and security are paramount to even education. We want to make sure that everybody goes home just like they came here except a little smarter.”


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