Profile: Jackie Layton

In June 2015, Jackie Layton was sitting at his home in Mattapan, Massachusetts, collecting a disability check and bored out of his mind. His wife, Daphne, knew he needed to find a challenge outside the home, so she suggested he find some part-time work that would get him out of the house and connecting with people.

Layton, a Boston native, had spent a majority of his 50+ years working various jobs, but the one position that made him happiest was working for the Boston School Police. He remembered the shifts as challenging and fun. He got to know the students while always offering protection from violence in the neighborhood. He recalled the connections he made with students, getting to know their issues and becoming someone who cared about what they were doing and how they were doing it. And he was aware of the example he set for each of them: being considerate to all, always remembering what his primary directive was, setting limits on behavior. His days and nights in the Boston Public Schools made an impression on those students.

These memories led him to travel downtown to the HR office of Securitas at 77 Summer Street. He met Paul Kirby, an HR specialist, and described his desire to be of service in a position in which he would be contributing positively to society. Kirby heard Layton speak of his school service and immediately thought of placing him at nearby Emerson College, where the tasks were straightforward and allowed for a good officer to connect with faculty, students, and staff. Kirby called Emerson Account Manager Neil Spellman and told him he had a good candidate who was looking for part-time work and had experience in the field.

Within an hour, Layton was interviewing with Spellman at Emerson and walking around the campus. He had never attended college but immediately came to like Emerson and its vertical college setting. He could see himself working at Emerson happily. Spellman concluded the meeting by telling Layton that he would reach out to him within 48 hours about the job. Layton went home and told his wife of his hope to be called and offered hours. He spent a long 48 hours waiting for the call, but it finally came. On June 16, 2015, he started at Emerson as a part-time officer, working anywhere from 16 to 32 hours each week.

After nearly a year, he approached Spellman and inquired about working full time. All of his supervisors reported him to be an outstanding officer, so he bid on and was appointed to the next full-time position that opened. He currently works at the security desk at Piano Row, warmly greeting the Athletics Department staff and other campus community members every day. He enjoys his work because of the friendly and helpful campus community.

Layton reports that while he is a couple of years older now than when he first applied to Securitas, he feels younger and looks forward to each day on campus and wearing the uniform of Securitas Security.

Neil Spellman (Securitas)

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