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Ask The Times: Schools have parking security guards
These guards are different from Student Resource Officers
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If you’ve been wondering about something in your community, Ask The Times is your place to get answers. The following question was submitted by a reader and answered through the efforts of our news staff.

I read that a security guard at a local school contacted the school resource officer about a man on West Hall High School’s campus. Do all the schools have these security guards, and how long have they had them?

All Hall County School District high schools have a guard stationed at the main entrance to their parking lots.

The school system contracts with an agency that assigns the guards to its schools.

“Current services are provided by Soteria Force at an annual rate of approximately $100,000, which covers daily parking lot security at our high schools,” Hall County Schools spokesman Gordon Higgins wrote in an email.

Higgins said the school system began using the parking lot security in 1995. The contracted service is bid annually.

Higgins said the parking lot security guard does not have law enforcement authority and can’t arrest people or issue citations.

Once the school day starts, any car that has someone other than students or staff must provide identification to the parking security guard, who also writes down the vehicle’s tag number.

If a person is not cooperating with the security guard, like in the situation at West Hall last week, the guard calls for assistance from a school’s administration or school resource officer.

All school resource officers in the system are Hall County Sheriff’s Office deputies with full law enforcement authority.

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