On June 7, 2010 Chaminade transitioned to a new private security provider, Securitas. This change brings both new faces and new methods for providing safety to students, faculty and staff on and off campus.
“I think Chaminade is unique because we’re small, so as a result of being small, people have higher expectations of security,” said Grissel Benitez-Hodge, Chaminade’s Dean of Students.
Wackenhunt, Chaminade’s previous security provider, was dropped at the end of their contract last year because Securitas was found to be more cost effective, said Benitez-Hodge. Securitas provides their own vehicles for the on and off campus patrols the security officers make throughout the day. Also, Securitas has a new computerized method of incident reporting, enabling an officer to enter the report information on-scene with a hand held device that transfers information directly to the main computer. This is an improvement from Wackenhunt, which required Chaminade to provide a vehicle and the incident reports were hand written after the officers had returned to the office.
Also, Chaminade is now able to be more closely involved with campus security. Securitas makes Chaminade a part of the interview and selection process of the security staff and can incorporate specialized training for the newly hired security officers.
Chaminade is very involved with security.
“We try to gear our services toward being one-to-one when we can,” said Benitez-Hodge. “We have our own training, our own manual, and our own needs that we want to make sure that in addition to what they bring, they know how we operate here on the campus.”
The change involved a complete overhaul of the security staff, the exception being William “Bill” Kernstock who was kept on to make the transition to Securitas smoother. There are new officers and a new Security Director, Melvin Decosta, who has previously worked at Kahala Mall and Honolulu International Airport.
The change was made in the summer when there are the fewest students on campus. The transition was smooth, and the officers have become accustomed Chaminade, said Benitez-Hodge.
Securitas does not monitor the classroom security cameras.
Chaminade has a decentralized monitoring system, meaning that the video feeds from all the security cameras do not go back to one place.
The individual departments decide if cameras are needed for their areas of the campus, and it is the department’s responsibility to monitor and fund them. The Informational Technology Department is a part of selection and installation of the security cameras.
When asked about security on and off campus, Chelsea Taketa (Senior) said “All the students know each other, so there’s this sense of trust. Security always comes by the dorms to check on them.”