The officers of Safety and Security said they work long and hard to keep Union’s campus safe.
“People don’t realize that at the end of the day, we are here to protect them,” said Jerry Cantrell, a safety and security officer. “Even if we seem a little too cautious at times, we are here for the benefit of the campus.”
From the smallest incidents to unlocking the occasional door for a student, Cantrell, an officer for more than five years, said he wants the campus to know that safety is the number one priority for the Safety and Security personnel.
With a campus of about 4,200 students, Cantrell said that keeping an eye out for students and faculty alike is a lot harder than what people see.
“I know a lot of times, people think that we are only riding around, looking to ruin someone’s fun,” Cantrell said. “But we are not. We are here to make sure that the student body is enjoying themselves, while also staying safe.”
Cantrell said that they are all about having fun while in college and described a time where a student called the office for something that seemed to be a job for an exterminator.
“This room full of freshmen girls called the office in a panic,” Cantrell said. “They wanted us to come and kill a spider for them because they were scared out of their minds. And, with no hesitation at all, we gladly came over and took care of the situation.”
Situations such as these do not happen often, but Cantrell said that they are more than happy to help anyone in need. Their primary focus is to always help the student body, and sometimes, if students need a little guidance, they are there to help them in that aspect as well.
“In a way, I feel like we are sometimes the parents away from home,” Cantrell said. “We love sharing moments with students. Whether it’s them sharing a happy moment, or even if they are having trouble. I know we have counselors here on campus, but at night time, there are no counselors around. So if there is a problem, we are happy to stop what we’re doing and talk to them for a while.”
Rusty Tuders, a Union graduate and safety and security officer, said officers are available to students for more than safety.
“I’ve seen [Cantrell] pull out his own money, just to buy a student a loaf of bread and some other groceries,” Tuders said.
The officers are available to the campus 24 hours a day. There is always someone working on the staff, but just in case there is not an officer riding around on a gator, they want students to know they can reach them at any time.
The number for the office is 731-661-5018. If there is no answer there, try calling the cell phone number, which is 731-394-2922.