New Physical Security Director to Coordinate Building Security Systems

Posted: November 4, 2009 at 1:02 am, Last Updated: November 2, 2009 at 4:52 pm

By Rashad Mulla

James McCarthy. Photo by Rashad Mulla

James McCarthy. Photo by Rashad Mulla

James McCarthy has come to Mason to bring all security systems matters under one roof.

McCarthy will be in charge of cameras, access card systems, alarms and all matters regarding security systems on campus. Right now, he is working to unify the school’s building security systems. Before the physical security position was created, the university purchased individual systems on a building-by-building basis. Now, McCarthy is working on developing a set of protocols that new buildings on campus will follow and old ones will eventually use.

“Before, there wasn’t one set of guidelines to follow, in terms of security,” McCarthy says. “We’re getting there slowly. It’s not something that will happen overnight.”

McCarthy, who was hired by University Police in August, has been exploring security systems that could span the entire campus in a cost-effective manner. He has also been hard at work building relationships with various departments, such as Housing and Facilities Management. Several projects are on the drawing board, he adds.

“A lot here is very good – it’s just a matter of pulling it all together,” McCarthy says. “I think people have been looking forward to this [position] for awhile.”

McCarthy brings 17 years of experience as a police officer, security specialist and program director to Mason.

He spent 12 years in the Harvard University police department, where he was eventually promoted to area commander. He was the chief of public safety at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston for a short while afterward. He then became the director of the emergency management program in Ruidoso, N.M., a city prone to wildfires. In his last stop before Mason, he was the director of security at Renown Health in Reno, Nev.

McCarthy can be contacted at or 703-993-2451.

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