Long wasn’t part of BSU’s Public Safety department for his entire 24 years here. In 1987 he began his journey here as a janitor in Decker Hall which, at that time, was actually Hickory Hall. Due to the fact that custodians don’t have the most ideal hours, and he had three kids at the time, he decided to apply for a more convenient job at BSU in 1991.
He applied for the job he held until his recent retirement, a campus security guard. Long didn’t get it the first time, however, but he was successful when he applied for the second time in 1992 and has been providing safety and security to BSU’s campus ever since. At one point throughout his career his title changed to a campus security officer and he was also identified as head of parking enforcement.
Long’s daily routine usually began around 7:30 a.m. even though he isn’t required to be to work until 8 a.m. He got there early so he could enter tickets that were given overnight into the computer and certain file cabinets. Then, if Long didn’t have calls to respond to he was usually out searching for lost, stolen or fake parking permits. The Public Safety office is open 24 hours a day, but his day typically ended around 4 p.m.
Having seen just about every kind of fake parking permit, Long was particularly excellent in spotting the imitations. He had seen everything from fake permits glued over real ones to simply just silhouettes of the real thing. For new employees at Public Safety, he had created a book showing all of the possible imitation permits.
If a parking permit was found to be fake or stolen, the offender is taken to court. Long, within his 19 years of working for Public Safety, hadn’t lost a single case when it came to providing justice to those who actually purchase a parking permit.
“That’s your hard-earned money that paid for the permit, the only way I can give you any value for that is to charge the ones that are in the lot who didn’t buy a permit,” claimed Long. Up to the day before his retirement, he had immobilized 3,407 vehicles.
Besides fulfilling his duties as head of parking enforcement, he has taken care of just about everything that can go wrong on BSU’s campus. He had seen everything including drunks, one suicide, burglaries, thefts, assaults, harassments, and drugs throughout his 19 years. More serious issues don’t necessarily happen all at once; “there can be many, many months of nothing, just normal work routine, and then one big event,” declared Long.
He is going to miss the people, the good officers and their motivation that he has worked with during his time at Public Safety. Long was proud of the job his management had done to provide campus with trustworthy and reliable employees. However, Long did mention that he wouldn’t miss having to get up at 6 a.m. every day.
He had no specific plans for what he will do with himself after retirement, but Long did mention that he would happily be back to visit.