Private security guards to patrol Pioneer temporarily


Clare Hong

Private security service Edmondson will patrol Pioneer for the next few weeks.

Private security guards will be patrolling Pioneer for the next few weeks, according to an email sent out by Principal Tracey Lowder.

Edmonson Securities, a Jackson-based firm which already handles night-time security at Pioneer, will assign two unarmed security personnel to day-time duties. The security guards will be in the building during school hours for approximately two to three weeks, according to Lowder. The guards are being contracted by the Ann Arbor Public Schools to fill in for several community assistants who are on leave.

“We’ll be down three Community Assistants for a short period of time,” said Lowder. “We’ll also have one CA out until the end of April. I’ve got another that’s out for at least two weeks, and another who will be out for four-to-five days.”

In addition to night duties at Pioneer, Lowder says that Edmonson also handles security operations at several of the district’s elementary schools.

With an acute shortage of staff across the district, Lowder and other district officials face a lack of personnel patrolling school buildings.

“It’s a challenge, it’s a big building. In all honesty, we don’t have enough CAs to begin with,” said Lowder. “I wish we had one or two more, but it’s what the district says we have. We have the same amount of CAs as Huron or Skyline, and we have three-or-five hundred more kids than them. Hopefully, next year, we’ll get another body or two.”

Lunchtime supervision is an equally concerning issue for the administration. Lowder says he has seven CAs spread out over two lunches with over 900 students each.

“With the early lunch, [made up of] Juniors and Seniors, a lot of people just leave,” continued Lowder. “But during that second lunch, [made up of] Freshmen and Sophomores, it’s all over the place. I need supervision on the third and second floor, I need people in the cafeteria … A Hall by athletics or B Hall by music. It’s hard to enforce a closed campus, especially during COVID.”