Downtown Campus Security - Watching Over Our Neighbors in Need
Updated: Apr 1
Since the pandemic began, we have been making a concerted effort to create at each of our three Central Florida campuses a safe space for our clients in need where they can find relief while they access basic and advanced services. As our main campus in Parramore continues to evolve to become Orlando’s Comprehensive Day Services Center, our efforts to better serve our clients are not without new challenges. Last year, through our campus partner S.A.L.T., we connected with Bennett Security who provides security services from sunup to sundown at our main campus.
Our head of security, Vincent Bennett, has the hardest job at the Christian Service Center. With many guests struggling with mental illness, Vincent gets yelled at, spit on, hit and disrespected, but is always still on the job. Interestingly, Bennett Security’s most common call isn’t to the police but rather to paramedics. While Vince and his team were hired to keep everyone safe from violence, it turns out one of their most common functions is identifying and making sure someone having a heart attack, stroke, seizure or overdose is cared for quickly and effectively.
People experiencing homelessness are among the most vulnerable and critically ill anywhere. On top of the stress and uncertainty of homelessness, the physical challenges of living unsheltered can make a person’s health worse as they struggle with exposure to severe weather, unsanitary living conditions, wound infections, trouble staying safe, limited access to health care, threat of violence or substance abuse dangers and more.
On March 3, Vincent saved one of our clients from choking on a hot dog by performing the Heimlich maneuver. Vince’s bodycam captured the incident and his quick response during the evening meal served each weeknight by one of our awesome partners, Straight Street. A couple months ago, Vincent administered life-saving NARCAN to a guest having an opioid overdose. Imagine what would happen to these unsheltered men and women if they experienced a life-threatening emergency while not on our campus, but alone under an overpass, alleyway, in the woods, or worse?
We are thankful for partners like Bennett Security who truly make our campus a safe and sacred space for our guests, volunteers and staff.
Meet Bennett Security
With more than 25 years of experience in private security, Vincent Bennett watches over our Downtown campus in Parramore along with his team of Rolando and Coach. From 2004-2010, Vincent ran the Central Florida division of Admiral Security. Then, he started Bennett Security in 2010. Running his own business, Vincent employs six staff and also provides services for the Seventh Day Adventist Conference Center in Altamonte Springs.
Assuring everyone’s safety at a day services center isn’t glamorous. Dealing with people going through the worst time of their lives often means being confronted with disrespect or hostility, but Vincent has a unique perspective on his work. “I love the unpredictability of each day. The thrill and excitement of it. And I like helping people.”