Some communities hiring private patrol officers www.privateofficer.com
Some communities hiring private patrol officers http://www.privateofficer.com
If positive feedback helps make a happy employee, William Quinn is pedaling himself positively ecstatic.
When Quinn cycles through an East Memphis neighborhood, residents often wave and sometimes stop to chat, offer him cookies or tell him to knock on the door if he needs anything.
It’s not because he’s doing handstands or popping wheelies.
He and other bicycling security guards are giving residents a little two-wheeled peace of mind.
Since Friday, the employees of Corporate IQ Inc. have patrolled the Audubon Park Community Association, where leaders hope to stem fears of increasing crime in the comfortable neighborhood where a young Elvis Presley once owned a home.
Outfitted in a yellow shirt and black shorts with handcuffs and a gun on his belt, Quinn perches on his bike, meeting as many neighbors as he can — and that’s not difficult, because they often come to him.
Minutes after Rev. Noland Pipes, 71, stopped to shake Quinn’s hand Monday morning, another woman waved from her Lexus, and yet another pulled up in a Mini Cooper to offer encouragement: “Y’all are running them off, aren’t you?”
Quinn’s bosses think the bikes give their officers the ability to meld with the community, in addition to providing nimble transportation that can roll right to the action.
In Quinn, 41, they’ve got an officer who brings a different level of training to the task.
He’s just back from a 20-month National Guard stint in Arizona, where he helped U.S. Border Patrol agents fight drug trafficking and illegal immigration.
He said it taught him to play a constant game of “what if?” — “You’ve got to expect the unexpected.”
Corporate IQ charges each participating resident $65 a month, although prices vary according to whether customers want to prepay.
The company needs about 100 customers to make the service viable, said president Michael McCune. Nearly 80 have signed up so far.
The neighborhood association’s boundaries are Park on the north, Cherry on the east, the University of Memphis’ south campus on the west and Rhodes Avenue on the south.
Pipes, who took part in the association’s decision to hire Corporate IQ, is no stranger to crime.
His impeccably tidy home on Haverhill has been broken into three times, twice while he was there.
The last time, he said, the intruder ran away while Pipes ran to get his shotgun.
Earlier, as Pipes walked down Audubon with Tucker, his daughter’s Boston bull terrier, he took a last look over his shoulder at officer Quinn.
“We’re glad you’re here.”