Security Officer Spotlight

Rebekah Icenesse, Writer

There are people here at Millikin who do not always get the recognition they deserve. The safety and security officers usually work behind the scenes, patrolling the campus and managing safety checks, and it’s time to turn the much-deserved spotlight on them. For those who do not know, the Public Safety Office is located on the first floor of Walker Hall, and is made up of both security and police officers. The office is operated 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and if there is any safety problem or emergency, the dispatch center can be reached by calling 217-464-8888.

There are eighteen members of Public Safety, and the officer who has the spotlight this week is Security Officer Amanda Barnes. She has been a security officer here at Millikin for four years now, and she gave me a little insight on her background training, her typical work day, and what she loves most about being a security officer at Millikin.

  1. What type of training did you have to go through to become a security officer?
  2. “They prefer some previous type of law enforcement experience or military experience. When I was in college at the University of Illinois, I worked at the sheriff’s department as part of my job when I was going to school, and I was a master control operator.”
  3. What is your typical day on the job like?
  4. “Everyday is unexpected. It depends on the day, but it’s a lot of customer service and a lot of problem solving and making sure that the buildings are ready for classes.”
  5. Were there any challenges that you had to face in becoming a security officer?
  6. “It helps to want to help people and not be afraid to communicate with people. Interaction with people and having that type of personality is important.”
  7. What do you like about your job?
  8. “The students. Honestly, getting to know the students that have been here the past four years. Also, different people’s backgrounds. Everybody has a story and I love everyone’s story and their journeys[.] I’ve had many students come and visit me when I’m working dispatch and [they’ll] pop in and say hi or if I see them on campus or if I haven’t seen them for a while, ‘What have you been up to? How was your summer?’ It’s a lot of fun.”
  9. What do you not like about your job?
  10. “People who get angry about parking enforcement because I have to do my job, too.”
  11. What traits or skills do you think one needs to have to become a security officer?
  12. “Being very observant. Being able to spot problems that other people are not paying attention to.”
  13. Would you recommend this career to someone else?
  14. “I would, because there are a lot of benefits that the university offers on an employment level that definitely make it worth while besides just having a job and working here. [Also] the atmosphere is always very unique and positive.”
  15. Do you have any future plans or goals that you want to achieve in your job?
  16. “I would love to come up with a better system for maintaining residential keys because I’m sort of obsessive and OCD about organization, and keeping those organized between helping our department and [Residential] Life because they kind of run independently while working together. So that’s a [big one].”
  17. Any tips or advice for students here on campus?
  18. “It’s easy to put a lot of stress on yourself to achieve and do well, but just remember to breathe and everything is going to be okay. There’s a lot of good resources here, if you are not aware of them, that can be utilized to help you achieve your goals so ask around, talk to faculty members.”

Thank you Officer Amanda Barnes and all of the other members of Public Safety who make the Millikin campus a safe environment for the students.