Unarmed security guards will patrol USF’s campus in the immediate future and University Police and other security and emergency-related departments will be rolled into a new Public Safety Division, university officials announced Friday.
USF will pay AlliedBarton Security Services – a national firm that handles security for shopping malls, offices, banks and 90 other universities – to staff the officers to patrol residence halls and other areas of campus, USF spokesman Ken Gullette said at a press conference.
The details of the services AlliedBarton will provide still need hammering out, but President Genshaft wants to come to an agreement as quickly as possible, Gullette said.
The firm will likely provide some of the same services it offers to other universities, which include patrolling campus on foot, escorting students and faculty to their cars in the evening and setting up office posts near residence halls.
Director of Residence Services Tom Kane said offices in Holly K and the Andros Center will be created as posts for the new security guards.
The new Division of Public Safety will be responsible for several departments, including University Police, parking enforcement and emergency operations.
Carl Carlucci, USF’s Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, will act as the interim director until a search committee can identify a candidate to head the new division, Gullette said.
The University Police Department was formerly part of Student Affairs and overseen by Vice President of Student Affairs Jennifer Meningall.
During the last three weeks, Student Body President Garin Flowers and former Associate VP of Student Affairs James Dragna have criticized Meningall’s management.
Led by Flowers and Student Body Vice President Faran Abbasi, more than 70 USF students staged a sit-in Oct. 16 to protest underfunding for University Police and call for third-party investigation into Dragna’s allegations Meningall mismanaged $1.3 million and intimidated employees with physical threats and racist and sexist remarks.
Gullette said the decision to move University Police out of the Student Affairs did not reflect negatively on Meningall’s leadership.
“This is part of an evolution and to bring everything under one head,” Gullette said. “There will be more consistent and unified procedures for operation.”