South Florida Sun Sentinel | by Scott Travis | November 24, 2020
The Broward School District is investigating why a security manager hired in January is still working at his previous job, overseeing security at a local university.
Terrance Wilson, 54, was director of public safety and emergency management at Florida Memorial University in Miami Gardens, making $72,000, when the school district hired him Jan. 14 for a $91,167-a-year security manager’s job, according to district records.
But instead of quitting the job at Florida Memorial, he’s been working both jobs, and it’s unclear whether either employer knew that until recently.
His union says he works the two jobs at different times, serving Florida Memorial at night.
Still, he’s the subject of a district investigation about the matter, according to a statement from the office of Chief Communications Officer Kathy Koch. The office declined to provide any more specifics about the case.
Wilson beat out 218 other applicants for the district job, which requires him to provide day-to-day supervision of security staff in local schools, including armed guardians and unarmed security specialists and monitors.
Wilson indicated on his application that he was ready to leave Florida Memorial for a “stable opportunity in my preferred field.” But he’s still listed as the director of security on the website for Florida Memorial, a privately run, historically Black university. In a YouTube video posted June 26, he discussed the new protocols as the university reopened after being shut down last spring for COVID-19.
Antonio Lane, a campus monitor at Orangebrook Elementary in Hollywood, said he alerted district administrators after discovering his boss’s second employment through an internet search. Lane, who has been under investigation for an unrelated matter, said he started questioning Wilson’s whereabouts after he couldn’t reach him by phone or email during school hours.
“Terrance Wilson, I have asked on more than one occasion to speak to your superior. I have yet to get a response,” Lane emailed Wilson on Oct. 21. “I would also like to know how it’s possible to be the director of security for Florida Memorial University and an area manager with the Broward School Board.”
Wilson could not be reached for comment, despite repeated attempts by phone and email at the district and university.
A Florida Memorial spokeswoman declined to comment.
“For privacy and confidentiality concerns, FMU, a private university, is unable to comment on specific employees or employment matters,” spokeswoman Opal Comfort said in an email.
But Florida Memorial has said he works there after 4:30 p.m., and district employees are allowed to have second jobs in their off time, according to Broward Teachers Union President Anna Fusco, whose union represents Wilson through its technical support professionals division.
“The district is always on a fishing adventure,’ Fusco said. “I have asked them why they are doing this and what proof he may be at the other site before 4:30 p .m., and zero anything.”
Wilson has 25 years of experience in security and has been with Florida Memorial University since January 2019, according to his resume, where he described his university duties as overseeing a “24/7/365 operation; including hiring, training, direction and supervision.”
“If he’s working 16 or 17 hours a day, that’s probably not the person you want in the job,” said Lisa Maxwell, executive director of the Broward Principals and Assistants Association.
Maxwell said she has had concerns about why these jobs were created. Principals used to supervise school security staff, but the district created a new safety department in the wake of the 2018 tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. The $21 million in extra security staff, some of which were funded by a 2018 voter referendum, includes armed guardians, more campus monitors, a director of security and 14 area security managers, each overseeing a portion of the county.
“I’ve long wondered what the security managers are doing,” Maxwell said. “It’s an overblown bureaucracy. We need more people at the schools.”
Security managers are supposed to travel to the various schools they oversee, providing supervision and training and assistance, according to the job description.
The jobs are also the subject of a grievance from the Federation of Public Employees, which represents the security staff the managers oversee. The district had promised that the management jobs, which can pay up to $101,000, would provide career advancement to lower paid campus monitors and security specialists, but that hasn’t happened, said Dan Reynolds, president of the union.
A review of records found that out of 13 area managers employed in September, eight were hired from outside the district; three were previously teachers; and two were district security staff members.
“They’re not even following their own guidelines,” Reynolds said.
A district spokeswoman could not be reached for response to questions about the employee groups’ concerns.
Photo: Terrance Wilson, director of campus security at Florida Memorial University, discusses COVID-19 protocols in this June video. He has worked at both Florida Memorial while also holding a job as area security manager for Broward schools. (Florida Memorial University Office of the President (YouTube screen grab))