Texas Wesleyan has hired a new security firm that will begin patrolling the
campus in March, according to university officials.
Sunstates Security will replace Guardsmark Security on March 1, said Blake
Bumbard, campus security manager.
The switch to Sunstates is the result of complaints about Guardsmark officers last
semester, Bumbard said. Students voiced their dissatisfaction in forums last
November, which led to a review of four security firms.
“The student forums and concerns really made us look for a new security system
to provide us a higher quality service,” he said. “We have always had an ongoing
review on how to make things better.”
Sunstates’ presentation and reviews were impressive, said Pati Alexander, vice
president of enrollment & student services.
“We were looking for a company that focused on customer service,” she said.
“The current officers do not speak to the students and faculty.”
Wesleyan is also planning to have a group of retired Fort Worth Police
Department officers on campus evenings and weekends starting June 1,
Hiring Sunstates, and paying for the retired officers and their equipment, will
increase Wesleyan’s security budget by $800,000 per year, Alexander wrote in an
But an improved security force, with more experience and better training, is
“Students’ initial impression of the officers will be changed,” Bumbard said.
Sunstates officers have received better training than those working for
Guardsmark, Alexander said. Also, Sunstates officers have EMT and CPR
Sunstates will provide service that will make students feel more at ease, Bumbard
“Security will be greatly improved due to the new officers’ experience and
training,” Bumbard said. “I think students will feel a lot safer.”
There will also be more officers on campus. Whereas Guardsmark has four
officers on campus at all times, Sunstates will have six, and management will be
on campus eight times per month, Alexander said.
“That impressed me most – that’s more than most security firms,” she said. “They
have great management and are so involved. We need to make sure the students’
needs are met. They’re our top priority.”
Chris Shaddix, a senior pre-law student, said he is happy about the new security
firm. He believes security should be the highest priority at Wesleyan.
“I have had my belonging stolen from my car on campus last year,” Shaddix said.
“My hope is that the school is able to hire the most qualified personnel.”
Sunstates prides itself on being a proactive partner with a manager-to-officer
ratio three times that of the industry standard, company Executive Vice President
Denis J. Kelly wrote in an email.
The company has worked closely with Wesleyan to increase the visibility of
officers on campus and their professionalism, Kelly wrote.
“We believe the reasons for their selection will align with the benefits and
improvements the TWU students, faculty and staff will experience,” he wrote.
“Those benefits will include a more visible, proactive, customer service focused
security team dedicated to working closely with everyone on campus.”