Feb. 04--Rochester Community Schools is changing security companies after a guard has been accused of bringing a loaded, 9 mm weapon into Rochester High School.
The move comes just weeks after a security guard employed by the company, DM Burr Security Services, was accused of sending sexually explicit photos of himself to a student.
The district has terminated its contract with Burr and hired a company called Safe-Ed to provide security at its high schools, Superintendent Robert Shaner said Monday in an e-mail to families in the district. Safe-Ed security guards were to be on duty starting today. The transition is expected to be complete by the end of the week, he said.
Shaner's e-mail cited "an investigation conducted by the Oakland County Sheriff's Office of a Rochester High School security guard in violation of the weapons-free school zone statute" as the reason for the change.
Capt. Mike Johnson of the Oakland County Sheriff's Department, the Rochester Hills substation commander, said this afternoon that the security guard was found to have the weapon Monday morning in his backpack in a locked office at the school.
The man, Johnson said, has a permit to carry a concealed weapon.
"But he's not allowed to carry (the concealed weapon) onto the school property," Johnson said.
The guard was taken into custody but released, Johnson said. The incident amounts to a civil infraction, and could result in a fine of no more than $500. A court can also order his license to carry a concealed weapon be suspended for up to six months, Johnson said.
Debbi Hartman, director of community relations for the district, said she was unable to talk about the matter tonight. She referred a reporter to the sheriff's office.
In December, Benjamin T. Lawrence, a security guard employed by Burr who worked at Stoney Creek High School in Rochester Hills, was criminally charged after investigators said he used his cell phone to send photos of his genitals to a 15-year-old student.
Shaner said in his e-mail that Safe-Ed employs many people who are retired police officers with experience in the youth divisions of law enforcement agencies.
"The district has conducted extensive reference checks and this firm comes very highly recommended by other local school districts," he wrote.
The amount of the contract was not immediately available late tonight.
Safe-Ed is based in Troy. Owner Steve Brandimore said the company provides security for high schools in the Troy School District. Brandimore said he also has done consulting work for various school districts.
Staff writer Lori Higgins contributed to this report. Contact Ann Zaniewski: email@example.com
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