Vinson replaces Landmark as supplemental campus security

Canela López, Associate News Editor

Tulane University Police Department officially made the change from Landmark to Vinson Security Services as the contractor for supplemental security on March 1 after deciding Landmark Security was not equipped to handle Tulane’s security concerns.

According to TUPD Superintendent Jon Barnwell, the switch to Vinson was made because Landmark did not specialize in day-to-day assistance for police forces. Landmark and TUPD’s original contract relegated special event security, like concerts and sporting events, to Landmark.

“We tried to see if we could do a one-stop-shop with them for security packages, including supplementing TUPD from a uniform visibility presence,” Barnwell said. “And unfortunately, that not being their realm of expertise, that didn’t work out. We weren’t getting the quality of visibility that we needed.”

Barnwell said visibility of a security force causes criminals to feel too intimidated to commit crimes on campus out of fear of being seen or caught by the large number of security officers walking around high-traffic areas including Freret Street and Audubon Boulevard.

In December 2015, a Landmark Security employee was terminated after an incident of inappropriate conduct toward a group of female students.

Barnwell said the change to Vinson was not related to the termination, or the reason behind the termination, of the Landmark employee.

“There were issues but Landmark was really aggressive in addressing those issues and making the changes that needed to take place, so that really didn’t play a role in the transfer to [Vinson’s] services,” Barnwell said.

“I feel like it’s a conflict because, on one hand, you hear about the crimes that happen so close to campus, like on Broadway and Freret, and extra security seems very necessary,” freshman Amy Grouse said. “On the other hand, you don’t want security who is going to compromise the well-being or feeling of safety on campus for students.”

Barnwell says that the student body reacted positively to the introduction of Vinson, and that the new company is better in its on-campus visibility necessary for full security.

“The visibility of the uniform presence, we’ve gotten positive feedback,” Barnwell said. “And again, it’s no real knock on Landmark, it’s because with Vinson, that’s what they do. That’s their business. It’s supplementing police officers on the day-to-day basis, performing a security function and presence with extra eyes and ears.”

Barnwell said that Vinson is currently in a trial period with TUPD that will last approximately three to six months to ensure that Vinson is the proper fit for Tulane and its student body. TUPD reserves the right to terminate its contract with Vinson, as long as Vinson is given a 30-day notice.