Students who have exchanged a wave, smile or otherwise acknowledged the security officers on campus likely have done so with Harvey Day. Among his colleagues, Day has been a security officer at UCC the longest, having started here in February of 2011.
Raised in California, Day’s path to his position on campus was somewhat unintentional. “When I graduated high school, I wanted to be a police officer,’ he says. The counseling services at the private Baptist school he attended were less than resourceful, however. “I didn’t know how to go about it, so I thought I’d get a job until I figured out what I wanted to do, and then life happened.” It is not uncommon for a job to become a career path, but this is the “life happened” portion of Day’s story.
Fresh out of high school, Day went to work for Kmart. His employment with Kmart became a 37-year experience, culminating in managerial positions in various departments in different locations. Starting in Dublin, California, Day transferred to places as diverse as Murry, Utah, and Everett, Washington before his transfer to Roseburg. “I’ve been here longer than I’ve been anywhere else,” he says. In his last four years with the chain, he managed security and says the job was fairly routine, though shoplifting investigations livened things up sometimes.
“I stopped quite a few shoplifters,” he says; “the thing is, several that I stopped were either entering college or the military. They had to tell their recruiter or school counselor why they couldn’t show up [for appointments].” The consequences of thievery still resonate with him. “Everybody loses,” he says, speaking of shrinking profit margins for corporations when all aspects are considered. It is often the “loss leader” items (sold below cost to draw customers) that are shoplifted, he said.
Day says the day-to-day routines of being a UCC security officer may be a bit less colorful than his previous work, but he is far from unhappy. “Compared to what I used to do, this isn’t really a job,” he says. “When I was with Kmart, days were broken up by shoplifting arrests and internal investigations, not so much here, and that’s a good thing,” he says, as he is willing to accept occasional periods of boredom in exchange for the comfort and security his department provides for students and faculty on campus.
He says the security staff have received positive responses to their increased visibility since the October 1 tragedy and mentions the small blue vehicle he is often seen cruising around in. “Some students joke that it looks like the Pope-mobile,” he says.
Day would like to ask that incidents on campus are reported promptly (he was reviewing tapes of a parking lot incident nearly a week old as of the interview). “We do have cameras in the parking lots,” he says, “but their angles are limited.” Immediately reporting to security offers a higher chance of a resolution because the frame of time is better known.
Harvey and his colleagues can be seen all over campus as they make their rounds; however, they can be contacted directly at their office or by phone.
The security office is located on the river-facing side of the warehouse building, and officers can always be reached at (541) 440-7777.