Auburn AL Nov 13 2016 Not many people know what happens on Auburn's campus after the sun goes down. Students sleep soundly or study hard in the library while night security guards patrol campus ensuring the safety of faculty and students.
Murray Guard, a security guard company contracted out by Auburn University, stations guards throughout campus starting at 4 pm. The company is based out of Jackson, Tennessee.
Lakisha Perry, account manager at Murray Guard for Auburn University, has been working there for six years. Perry manages about 63 employees.
"We provide any basic security needs on campus," Perry said. "That can range from traffic control, access control, event security, anything."
Perry said the guards aspire to be as people-friendly as they can. Being approachable and trusted by students and faculty is something that Murray Guard strives for.
Perry said Murray Guard works closely with the Auburn Police Division and the Department of Campus Safety and Security. They are all in direct contact at all times during the job.
"It's a fast paced job," Perry said. "If you don't know what you are doing you can get behind very quickly. It's never a dull moment with us."
"You learn something every day and we push everyone to better than they were the past day," Perry said.
Perry said the only difficult element of her job is the last minute requests for guards, especially during home game weekends, as the team of guards is stretched thin.
"You're trying to cover all of the areas and ensure safety, which can be tough sometimes," Perry said. "But, we always get the jobs done."
Perry said there aren't exactly slow periods, but during the summer they cut back on staffing. During the week, they serve around 16 hours typically stressing the early morning hours when crime is more likely.
Perry said the hiring process is simple, but taken very seriously. Security guards are required to be certified on the state level and Perry requires an addition eight-hour instructive course before the guards are considered.
"[Potential guards] must make an 80 or better in the course," Perry said. "If they can't pass that, they are not fit to be a security guard of security figure on campus."
The job entails a list of responsibilities. Perry said the guards patrol their post, check doors and windows, respond to emergencies in their area and assist students. They escort students across campus at night to reassure them of their safety.
Perry encourages everyone to stop by the campus security office on Magnolia Avenue to ask any questions about safety.
"[Auburn] is a great, safe place to live and work," Perry said. "Auburn University works to ensure everyone's safety and they do a great job of it."