Situated near the Frank Erwin Center and at the edge of campus, the University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing’s location warrants a security presence. If you have been inside the School of Nursing building any time in the past 15 years, then you know Jimmy Eaddy, our faithful security guard. Jimmy’s warm smile and watchful eye greets everyone who enters the building, and he is someone you can count on when you need assistance.
We thought Jimmy would be a great person to spotlight in our first “Meet the Staff” blog.
What are your duties as security guard for the School of Nursing?
I’m a jack of all trades. My duties include phones/reception, meeting and greeting people, and observing the general public. I pay a lot of attention to what comes in and out of the building. I also pay attention to the mental state of people and read their “cues.” I unlock the doors, assist with keys and disable alarms. Since I have been here for a long time, I know where to direct people when they have questions.
I also have the authority to detain or stop people, but I am not a police officer. My radio will put me in direct contact with campus police. Through my earpiece, I hear campus police radio transmissions. When I hear words like “Erwin Center” or “Nursing,” I pay special attention.
How long have you worked here?
I have been at the nursing school for 15 years — since 1998. I have worked at UT since 1981.
What other positions have you had at the university?
I started out writing parking tickets. I have worked in security at the undergrad library and worked as an escort to get students safely between buildings late at night. I have worked in dispatch, office building patrol and security at the Chancellor’s residence.
What part of your job is most satisfying to you?
Meeting people. I don’t look for trouble. I am a people person. I have heard through Dean Stuifbergen that students have mentioned me during commencement speeches, and it make me feel good. It’s nice to know that I am someone who made a positive impact on the students’ experience here. I also like that I have the opportunity to work at special events around campus.
Can you tell us about a time when you needed to take action to protect the school?
In 2010, there was a gunman at the Perry-Casteñeda Library. All buildings on campus were put under lockdown. I had to monitor who was let in and out of the building.
You’re sure to have lots of stories about working at the School of Nursing. Can you share any?
I remember a time when it was cold outside and a man came in the building saying he thought there was a warrant for his arrest. The police were called, and we learned that he was just released from the state hospital. It turned out that there weren’t any warrants for his arrest, and when asked what he was going to do when he left, the man said he was going to throw himself off a bridge. He was returned to the state hospital.
Another time I saw a man walking along the curb and waving a stick. He was harassing people near the Erwin Center. I called campus police and the officer that responded was attacked. I quickly ran across the street and called for back up.
What do you wish every student, faculty and staff member knew about building security?
Be familiar with your surroundings. Be vigilant and aware. It’s OK to dial 911 instead of campus police, because any 911 calls made from the campus will be routed to campus police. It’s also good to be aware of the call boxes nearby. One is just south of the Nursing building, one is between the north parking lot and the Trinity Garage, and one is by Hargis Hall.
Tell us about your family.
My wife Angie and I have been married for 17 years. We have two dogs: “Angus,” who was named for being a cattle dog, and “Ruby,” who was named because of her red color.
What do you like to do outside of work?
I love to fish and do it year-round. One of my favorite spots to fish is on Town Lake. We don’t eat the fish, just catch and release. I once caught a bass that weighed six pounds. I also like to hunt and go to gun shows. In high school, I played baseball, football and track. I still like to play catch with my nephew.