Roll Call: Orlando Garcia, Site Manager
Orlando Garcia is a Site Manager for Summit, assigned to oversee Summit security officers protecting Long Beach City School District facilities on Long Island. Orlando joined Summit about a year and a half ago after a lengthy career in law enforcement. The Summit Report sat down with Orlando to discuss the Site Manager’s role and his prior experience.
TSR: How long were you in law enforcement?
OG: Twenty years. I spent the first 10 years as part of the uniform patrol force, conducting patrols in a marked police vehicle. I was also part of the uniform bicycle patrol and plainclothes street crime unit. Later, I was promoted to Detective performing General Service investigations—which means all types of investigations from misdemeanors to felony crime investigations. Eventually I joined the Burglary Squad. In the final two years of my career, I was a member of the Domestic Violence/Sex Crimes Unit. I retired as a detective.
TSR: How did you come to join Summit?
OG: I was looking to start a second career after retiring from law enforcement. The security industry seemed like a good fit thanks to my experience and background. Also, it is very similar to police work, which I had enjoyed for years. I had heard a lot of good things about Summit, including that it is a large, family-owned company with strong corporate values and a history of giving back to the community.
TSR: How did your prior experience help you in your role with Summit?
OG: My law enforcement training, and twenty years of experience as a police officer, are really useful in handling the issues I face as a security Site Manager. For example, I’m very aware of suspicious behavior. I can usually spot misbehavior before it happens, which is very useful in a school environment. My law enforcement background also prepared me for handling the scheduling, mentoring and oversight of security personnel that I perform at the District. Additionally, part of my job as Site Manager is to maintain a close, working relationship with local law enforcement, which is easy for me to do given my background.
TSR: What does a Summit School District Site Manager do?
OG: During the school year, a typical day starts at 7:00 a.m. in the morning, but sometimes earlier, depending on call-outs, incidents, or other factors. My first task, which continues all day, is to ensure that all posts are covered across the District. I also hand out special assignments to other security staff members. Then, I visit various posts across District facilities to observe how security personnel are performing their duties and make sure that they are complying with District rules and policies. Though these rounds take me to the District’s middle and elementary schools and administration buildings, I spend most of my time at the High School, which has the largest number of students and sees the most activity. Throughout the day, I create schedules for security personnel, provide guidance to our people in the field, and act as a liaison between our security officers and District officials. May and June are especially busy months at the District because of various season-ending athletic events, the prom, and graduation. During the summer, it is a little quieter since there are fewer students and activities at District facilities.
TSR: Why did you choose law enforcement for your first career?
OG: Initially, I didn’t plan on going into law enforcement. I thought I wanted to be an attorney. I studied at New York Institute of Technology and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Behavioral Science with a specialization in Criminal Justice. Then I spent a summer interning at the local District Attorney’s office and ultimately took a position at the office. After some time working for the D.A., I realized that I wanted to pursue law enforcement instead of a career as an attorney.
TSR: How does Summit’s Regional Management Team support your work at the District?
OG: Regional Manager Bob Calabrese was very helpful to me when I was interviewing for the position at Summit and when I was transitioning into the role. Now, he provides ongoing support for our security personnel assigned to the District. I know he is there ready to provide whatever we need to meet client expectations. Summit has a tremendous reservoir of talent and resources on Long Island. Bob makes certain that it is deployed effectively to serve our clients. Client Service Manager Jim Volpe also provided very helpful guidance when I was settling into the position, but also allowed me to make recommendations on how to improve the operation and processes.