Sweet Doesn’t Sugar-coat It

The term “sweet” is typically associated with candy and sugar. But don’t expect Staples’ new security guard, David Sweet, to match that definition.

Sweet’s extensive experience as a policeman has earned him a reputation of being strict and tough among licensed students. Before coming to Staples, Sweet worked as a policeman at the University of New Haven for 15 years and Yale University for five years.

Sweet acknowledges the effect his job history has on students’ reactions. “When kids hear that I was a police officer they’re like, ‘Uh oh, maybe we have to think twice before we try to pull a fast one over him,’” Sweet said.

Many students have changed their habits because of his arrival. Ryan Kirshner ’13 says she doesn’t have a parking sticker and has refrained from parking at school ever since Sweet became the new security guard.  “I exercise more caution because I heard he’s very strict,” Kirshner said, “Last year I used to think I could get away with everything. Now I get dropped off by my mom because I don’t want to risk it.”

Sweet takes pride in doing his job seriously. He wants to be consistent and strict, but fair at the same time. “We don’t wake up and say, ‘Gee, let’s make their lives as miserable as we can,” Sweet said. He does not go out of his way to get students in trouble, but his job is to take the necessary and appropriate action required when students break the rules.

“I’ve heard that he’s much better than our prior security guard,” Will Streiter ’12 said, “He does what he’s supposed to do.”

Sweet starts his daily routine by monitoring the entrances and making sure that the majority of cars use the side entrance as the proper drop-off in order to avoid a traffic jam. Between the hours of 7:30-10:30 a.m., Sweet surveys the grounds and looks for parking violations. If a student is parked without a sticker or is in the wrong lot, he writes them a $15 ticket. From 10:30-2:15 p.m., Sweet is stationed at the main entrance to make sure students are leaving with the proper documentation. If a student leaves the school grounds without an administrator’s permission, he or she receives one Saturday detention and the loss of parking privileges for at least one month.

Sweet says the biggest problem that he encounters 99.9 percent of the time is parking. On average, he has been giving 11-13 tickets a day. However, to him, this statistic is nothing compared to the 100 tickets he had to issue each day on college campuses.

“We totally need this guy because there needs to be consequences for breaking universal rules,” Greg Salamone ’13 said, “We rely on him to keep our parking community safe and to handle all immature school antics that can jeopardize the learning environment.”

Sweet says that so far his time at Staples has been great. Both the students and the staff are wonderful, and his goal is to try and get to know many of the students on a first-name basis rather than on a negative basis. He wants to be a positive role model and encourages students to ask him for advice if they ever need help.

“I have no complaints,” Sweet said, “Cops as a rule tend to be suspicious and paranoid. I joke with my wife that it can’t be this great. I keep waiting for something to happen but I’ve come to realize that maybe things can be this good.”