What is your job description as a security officer?
“Our main objective here is to maintain a safe environment for students, faculty, staff and visitors,” he said. When it comes to the actions a security officer can do, Meredith said officers know, without question, the scope of their authority.
“There’s no grey area. We know what we’re supposed to do here,” he said. “Other students give their accounts and that’s their account. But you have to take the full story because students and people, they give their account, but there’s always a reason.”
What is the student perspective towards campus security?
“Positive, very positive,” he said. “They appreciate security. I’ve had students come bring us snacks, cookies just to say how much we thank you.”
“Sometimes I am going and getting off my shift, headed home and students stop me outside and say, ‘Hey, we appreciate you.’ That just makes us feel like, ‘Wow, okay.’ It’s our job, we get paid to do it, but there is a certain more level of ownership than just we’re getting paid. Really, it’s a calling.”
A funny moment from your experience as a security officer?
Meredith said he met an alumnus on his missionary trip to Haiti this year. During a late night meeting in the bunks, the alumnus recalled a time when a group of guys were wrestling on the fourth floor in EMR.
“He said, ‘Oh yeah, I remember the time a bunch of us guys were in EMR on the fourth floor, and we were wrestling and we were just rowdy,” Meredith said.
“They were so loud and boisterous, they called security and we came up there. When security got off the elevator, they looked and they said, ‘What in the world [is] going on here?’ And they said, ‘We’re just wrestling,’ and the guys [were] begging, ‘Please, please, can we do it one more time? One more time? One more time? Let us go one more time.’ And he said, ‘Alright.’
“I said, ‘What? He did that.’ If that would have been me, I would have said, ‘No, it’s over now.’”
What are functions that security officers do that students may not know of?
“We are pretty much aware within five minutes [if] any strangers come on campus.”
“We are here for you guys,” he said. “Sometimes we’re security, sometimes we’re a father, sometimes we’re a big brother, big sister.”
“I’ve seen some tough guys come off the police force, gruffy,” he said. “But when they get around the students for awhile, they melt.”
Editor’s Note: Security Officer Landerous Meredith has worked at ORU for nine years. This is an edited and condensed version of the interview.