Others give favorable review of scrutinized Knox Co. Schools sec

Others give favorable review of scrutinized Knox Co. Schools security contractor

Posted:
"This whole process literally is extremely surprising," said Joe Forgery, the director of safety at the Anderson County School system. "This whole process literally is extremely surprising," said Joe Forgery, the director of safety at the Anderson County School system.
PSCD also contracted with the city of Knoxville to perform security at the Civic Coliseum. PSCD also contracted with the city of Knoxville to perform security at the Civic Coliseum.

By MIKE KRAFCIK
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Knox County Schools Superintendent Dr. Jim McIntyre announced Saturday that the district would launch a full investigation into the district's security chief and his relationship with the district's former security systems vendor.

Details have come out about the problems with the vendor, Professional Security Consultants and Design, or PSCD.

Dr. McIntyre said at a news conference on Saturday that security deficiencies were found at two schools in the district.

The company has installed security systems for at least one other local school system.  

On Monday, Mike Walker, the president of PSCD, said his relationship with Knox County Schools Security Chief Steve Griffin was purely professional.

Another local school system says that his company's work was excellent.   

"This whole process literally is extremely surprising," said Joe Forgery, the director of safety at the Anderson County School system.

Since 2007, the district has awarded contracts to PSCD for the installation and repair of video monitoring systems in seven county schools.  

The company is headed up by Mike Walker, a man Forgerty has worked with.  

"We have been pleased. We have felt like he has been extremely professional with us, his installation, his equipment, everything has always been excellent," said Forgerty.  

Walker maintains he had the same kind of professional relationship with Griffin, who was placed on leave after admitting to taking trips with Walker. 

Walker said Griffin accompanied him on a hunting trip in Jackson County, and had traveled with him to a NASCAR race in Bristol, for which Walker provided the tickets.

"You can't work with someone for several years on a frequent basis and not at least form a relationship. Nothing was improper about it. We did not take him on a Hawaiian cruise," Walker said.

PSCD has been in business for over 12 years and has performed security consulting and design in 72 schools involving approximately 135 buildings.  

The company also has contracted to provide and install the new addressable fire alarm, voice evacuation system, and the digital video security system at the Knoxville Expo Center.  

In 2005, the city of Knoxville and PSCD entered into a $24,000 contract for security work.

The company installed around 16 cameras in the interior and exterior of the coliseum.

A city spokesperson said the security system has worked just the way it was intended to, with no problems reported.

Forgerty says it's the same story for Anderson County Schools.

"I was very surprised to see any of those kinds of things, because that's not what we've dealt with here," Forgerty said.  

PSCD claims that when they were alerted to problems with Knox County Schools, they inspected the schools and could not locate the deficiencies in question.  

The company said on its website it has been chosen to implement new digital video securities solutions for some of the largest public venues on the University of Tennessee's Knoxville campus.

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