New security provider to patrol private parties

Officers from Securitas Security Services will patrol future registered fraternity parties.

Greek houses previously used off-duty Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officers as security, but the presence of alcohol created too much of a risk, said Irene Stevens, dean of student life.

In response, Stevens became part of a committee with two other staff members and three students—including Brandon Smith, vice president of conduct for the Interfraternity Council—to choose a new security provider.

Registered parties at Greek houses have off-campus vendors providing alcohol to guests aged 21 and older.

“When alcohol is present, you want more security,” Smith said. “It helps the fraternities stay out of trouble.”

The committee voted to use Securitas in the future on Friday, Smith said.

All registered Greek events are required to use the same security provider to make sure rules are consistently enforced.

This is also to ensure that Butler University Police Department and Student Affairs have a definite contact in case of an emergency situation, said assistant police chief Bill Weber.

BUPD can’t guarantee that it will have enough officers to cover Greek events. However, the department works closely with security guards and encourages them to contact BUPD in case of an emergency. The guards do not have arrest powers.

“I don’t want any student or guest to be injured,” Weber said.

The committee invited eight to 10 companies to interview for the new security-provider position. Most said no because of the liability concerns, Stevens said.

The decision came down to two companies: Securitas and Trinity Security.

“We were pleased with both companies that expressed interest,” Stevens said.

Securitas’ services cost $8 more than Trinity’s services would have, but the deciding factor for both Smith and Weber was that Securitas had one supervisor for each of its officers. If an issue arose, contacting one person would be easier than trying to figure out who was in charge that night, Weber said.

The guard will check guests’ IDs and will patrol around the party to ensure people aren’t participating in underage drinking or causing issues, Smith said.

“They’re extra eyes that are there to keep everybody safe,” Weber said.

There is no contract or specified time period for Securitas’ services to be provided. Individual houses will create contracts with the company at the time of their events, Weber said.

Securitas is one of the largest security companies in the United States, said Lynne Glovka, Securitas director of marketing communications. It has approximately 100,000 employees and sites in every state.

“We have hundreds of university and school sites across the country,” Glovka said.
Officers take varying online training courses based on the area in which they will be working. They take a one-hour class about alcohol and abuse, which is another reason Securitas stood out to Smith.
After the decision is run by Levester Johnson, vice president of student affairs, and Ben Hunter, executive director of public safety, Securitas will be available for the Greek houses to use in three to four weeks, Stevens said.

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