Sheridan Security Segues to New Vehicle



Sheridan security’s new vehicles promise that the future is now.

Like something out of a science-fiction novel, these tall, three-wheeled chariots are strange to look at for a simple reason: the driver stands.

“It feels weird because you’re standing, but you’re going pretty fast,” said Scott Hough, who has been part of Sheridan security’s mobile unit for two years.

These space-age people-movers are called Sentinel PMVs. Primary Response, the security company currently under contract with Sheridan, has installed two of them at Sheridan – one at Trafalgar, one at Davis.

They top off at a whopping 25 km/h, and although it looks like a Segway, there are minor differences. It has a third wheel at the front, a full shield covering the operator’s lower body and doesn’t require the operator to lean their body weight to steer.

Hough says he understands that students and faculty may snicker at the sight of a guard driving a PMV, but believes it will ultimately increase safety awareness.

“Because of how bizarre looking it is, I think more people will notice it than the other vehicles,” said Hough, before adding that it’s the quietest vehicle they operate, which ultimately increases the guard’s alertness due to the simple fact that they can hear better.

Andrew Lee, 30, Sheridan security guard of eight years, agrees that its lack of commotion is a contributing factor to expanding the guard’s ability to effectively patrol, but for a different reason.

“The UTV is kind of loud and cumbersome, and people can hear you coming,” said Lee, who feels that this provides potential lawbreakers a warning of security’s impending arrival.

The UTV is a four-wheeled motorized vehicle that looks like a mix between an ATV and golf cart, and is one of three vehicles Sheridan security has in its artillery – the other two being a bicycle and a Jeep SUV.

At the end of last year, Primary Response was looking to implement a new vehicle. Something that was low-speed and environmentally friendly, according to Kris Dowlatshahi, Security Supervisor at the Trafalgar and STC campuses for the past 17 years.

But with a vehicle that is so distinctively unorthodox, questions of its potential benefits and practicality come into play.

“It’s not a question of benefit, it’s more that each one has its own uses,” he said.

Dowlatshahi believes the PMV is an ideal addition because it complements the other existing vehicles, especially the bicycle. For example, the bicycle can go up hills in the forest, but after a few hours it’s only natural for the guard’s legs to tire. The PMV cannot go up hills in the forest, but it can manoeuvre with more agility in the parking lot than the bicycle.

The change seems to have been welcomed with open arms and a smile by the security guards at Sheridan, however, as Scott Hough puts it, they are careful to keep in mind that “it’s a tool, not a toy.”