CMU To Manage Own Security Service

Shifting from past practice of contracting with an independent security organization to protecting people and property at Central Methodist University, CMU has taken a bold step to establish its own safety department.

The Campus Safety staff will include two full-time officers and three part-time members, under the supervision of Wayne Morse, assistant director of plant operations and safety coordinator.

“We are very excited to be moving forward with a positive impact in our campus safety program,” said Derry Wiswall, director of plant operations at CMU. “The ability to bring our campus safety services in-house creates a great opportunity to provide better service to our students and our campus community.”

The two full-time safety officers will be Samantha Gerhardt from Boonville and William Steven Parr, originally from New Franklin and now a Fayette resident.

Gerhardt has an associate degree from CMU in criminal justice (2007) and is working toward a bachelor degree in psychology from Central.

She was a security officer and receptionist for Allied Barton. Prior to that she worked as a probation supervision officer for EMASS, primarily in domestic violence and driver improvement programs.

Parr has 20 years of experience in custodial and maintenance fields, working in Boonville and Columbia. He also has a background in sales and has worked at a lumber company.

As a youth he earned his Eagle Scout Rank, became a Scout Master, and then led 10 other young men to achieve their Eagle Scout Ranks.

Parr served in the U. S. Marine Corps where he became a lance corporal. He received medals for marksmanship, good conduct, service in Southwest Asia, plus the National Defense Medal, Kuwait Liberation Medal, and Combat Action Medal.

The State of Missouri also awarded him for his mastery in facility management; and he received an award from the Green Clean Initiative for his study and application of green cleaning and maintenance in schools.

The three part-time security officers are Chris Aschemann from Carterville, Ill., Steven Griffin from Fayette, and Trevor Stein from Higbee.

Aschemann is currently a graduate student at CMU, having earned his bachelor of arts in chemistry at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, Ill. (2016). He earned his Eagle Scout ranking in 2009. In college he was a four-year football and varsity track athlete, and he is a track and field graduate assistant coach at Central.

Griffin graduated from Boonville High School and followed that up with certification in auto body work. As a member of the U. S. Navy, he studied diesel engineering and gas turbines. His background includes work for a security company and in multiple capacities at Nordyne. He has been working at CMMG in the quality assurance department.

Stein grew up in Kingdom City. He studied psychology and fire science at college and then entered the military. During his six years there, he studied security, combat, and first aid, including EMT-B training. After his discharge, he worked for a security company. Currently he works as a firefighter for the city of Moberly where, in addition to fighting fires, he handles medical calls and does some public relations work.

Ken Oliver, CMU’s vice president for institutional growth and student engagement, reiterated the value of these new staff members. “Campus safety is our number one focus regarding the lives of our students,” he said. “We can focus on the necessary training for our staff that assist CMU when dealing with any possible safety concerns in the future.”

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