An Inside Look at Menlo’s Campus Security

A member of the campus security team talks to a driver in the Menlo parking lot. Staff photo: Sadie Stinson.

Sadie Stinson

A member of the campus security team talks to a driver in the Menlo parking lot. Staff photo: Sadie Stinson.

Erica Fenyo, Staff Writer

Clad in black and yellow, the Menlo School security team ensures that all students, faculty and staff members are safe during their time on campus. While they work on Menlo’s campus, all security guards — with the exception of Director of Security Mustapha Moutri — are hired through Command Security Services. 

There are three shifts with security on campus, which is active 24 hours a day, seven days a week: the daytime shift from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., the middle shift from 4 p.m. to midnight and the graveyard shift from midnight to 8 a.m. During their shifts, the security guards deal with various issues that may arise on school grounds, from lost phones to imminent threats, with two guards on campus at all times during the day. 

According to security guard Mariel Guerra, who just joined last month, the security team values having an accessible relationship with students and staff members; the security office can be found in the back of the school by the baseball field, or anyone can contact them by phone ((650) 799-4993) because there is always a security guard on-site with the phone.

On an average day, the security guards lock and unlock the doors, check that all entries are secure and are available to assist members of the Menlo community. 

The security team also adapted to COVID-19 and hybrid learning. Moutri believes that the security team has added priorities due to the pandemic. “The security officers are responsible for checking in faculty, staff, and students, [as well as] making sure they have and show One Medical green badge and the POM when they arrive on campus. We also work closely with the Menlo School health team and the Student Life Office to keep us updated on all the latest health orders from the San Mateo County health officials to make sure we keep the Menlo School community healthy and safe,” Moutri said.

The security team provides a safe and healthy environment for the rest of the Menlo community, but they also value their safety during the pandemic. 

Guerra is a new addition to the team, and this is only her first month on the job, but she already feels safe in the new environment. While she works at Menlo, Guerra is contracted through Command Security Services and also reports to that security site.

“Because it is a private school, it’s very unique. Because even at my security site, we don’t do COVID-19 tests every few days. [Menlo] is definitely paying close attention to making sure there’s no spread of the virus,” Guerra said.

While Guerra’s job is to keep everyone on campus safe, she also values her health and safety. “I do feel like I feel secure in working here. […] [In other places] it’s kind of like an honor system, and here at Menlo, there’s no honor system — you need to be verified that [you] tested negative within a few days span of you arriving on campus, which is awesome.”

While Guerra feels safer due to Menlo’s testing and safety protocols, she also values the positive community that Menlo fosters. “I like that the families are really friendly. I do like that people are getting all their COVID-19 tests. It gives you a sense of security.”