The University of Pennsylvania has selected SpectaGuard, the region's largest security company, to become the sole provider of security services for all University facilities, officials announced.
The partnership with SpectaGuard is a key component of the University's Public Safety Strategic Plan, and is designed to ensure the provision of high quality security services on and off campus by developing an overall integrated delivery system for safety and security services at Penn.
"Partnering with one of the leading security providers in the country enables us to collectively improve campus safety and the quality of life at Penn," said Executive Vice President John Fry. "SpectaGuard has extensive experience with both educational institutions and the health care industry, and maintains the highest standards of professional performance. This partnership will provide us with the services of a world-class security organization here on campus 24-hours a day, seven days a week."
The University currently uses more than 200 security personnel, provided by a number of contractors, assigned to various locations on campus, at an annual cost of some $4.6 million, excluding special events. The Division of Public Safety's Strategic Plan, published in March, identified partnering with one security company as a strategic goal that would enhance safety services throughout the University community.
"We are pleased that the University of Pennsylvania has selected SpectaGuard to become its partner in providing quality security services for its students, faculty, staff and University community," said SpectaGuard President William C. Whitmore. "We are confident that our many years of experience in integrated asset protection will be an important and meaningful contributor in the accelerated efforts and programs of Penn's Division of Public Safety."
SpectaGuard was selected by the Security Services Core Team, comprised of representatives from many areas of the University and Health System that employ contract security guards. The Team, which began working on the project in June, recommended SpectaGuard based on numerous factors, including:
SpectaGuard employees are currently employed at six locations at Penn, and also provide outdoor patrol services to the area west of 40th Street.
"Experience has demonstrated the key to effective contract guard services is a tightly drawn and monitored contract," said Public Safety Managing Director Thomas Seamon. "This partnership will provide increased training and better communication and coordination of security personnel across campus to ensure the highest standards of performance. Experience shows that guard personnel and University police, working side by side, forge an effective working relationship that greatly benefits the overall security programs."
SpectaGuard will have office space in the new Division of Public Safety headquarters at 40th and Chestnut Streets, which is currently undergoing renovations and is expected to be occupied next year.
SpectaGuard was founded in 1980 in the Philadelphia region. It is currently the largest security guard company in the region, and the 16th largest in the country. In the Delaware Valley Region, SpectaGuard employs some 1,500 full-time and 1,000 part-time employees. In addition to Penn, SpectaGuard provides services to Drexel and Temple universities, Community College of Philadelphia, and serves 10 healthcare institutions in the Delaware Valley. The company employs an additional 1,500 security officers at its regional locations in Waltham, Mass., and Livingston, N.J.
-- Phyllis Holtzman, Penn News & Public Affairs
Volume 43 Number 14
December 3, 1996
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