Shine On – meet the nominees – TLC Security

St. Stephen – While many businesses were required to close their doors during the COVID-19 pandemic, some were actually required to take on more staff to meet the demands of their clients. This allowed those who were displaced from their jobs to be able to work and earn a living. One such company is TLC Security in St. Stephen, and for having gone above and beyond during the crisis, they have been nominated for one of three The Saint Croix Courier Shine On awards.

Thomas Connick, owner of TLC Security, said he has had to hire more staff throughout the COVID-19 crisis, and was able to turn part-time positions into full-time ones. He said they worked for a while at the Superstore in St. Stephen, ensuring that only a certain number of people were in the store at any given time. He said they were not asking screening questions at this location, and his staff have since moved on to other locations.

“When the Superstore was going through it at the time, I had to employ four more people just to staff that building alone,” said Connick. “The public obviously got on with the social distancing. Some of their employees were able to start guiding them by that time. They managed to get the store all changed around so it suited the new norm, and they no longer needed security guards in there to assist. We’re no longer at the Superstore.”

Connick and his staff are still providing services to many other locations, including liquor stores in St. Stephen six days a week, and in Saint Andrews seven days a week. He said they are asking certain screening questions, and asking people to sanitize their hands prior to entering the buildings.

“We’ve also had to go into the liquor stores in St. Stephen and Saint Andrews,” said Connick. “Both have us screening everybody for COVID-19 and now have them sanitizing their hands and be reminded of social distancing. Currently, most of the questions are whether or not you have any COVID-19 symptoms. If you have any of the symptoms of have been around anybody who has COVID-19. The big thing is we’re trying to make sure to not allow more than whatever the store capacity is at this point in time.”

Connick said his company also assisted St. Stephen High School with their graduation, but because his staff has been busy at many locations throughout Charlotte County, he didn’t have as much staff at the school as he normally would.

“We tried to assist the high school with their graduation,” said Connick. “We did get staff in to take care of it, but there wasn’t as much staff available as I’d hoped for. Obviously, I’ve done a lot of hiring, and a lot of my staff that was part-time is now full-time. It’s good, but it’s made it hard when events pop up.

“I have a lot more staff than I’ve had in previous years, but they’re all busy working full-time, and some are working overtime. I started off hiring people with the idea that we were going to do this for a couple of weeks, maybe a month. It became, we’re going to be needed for a few months.”

Connick added he thought most of these jobs were going to be temporary, just for a few weeks. Now, it looks to him that these arrangements could become more permanent. He thinks security services will be needed until there is a vaccine.

“I don’t know when that’s going to happen. It looks like it’s going to be a while. It’s weird. Every day you’re looking to see the updates. It’s brought in quite a lot of work, or it has for me, sadly. It’s bittersweet. It’s hard to feel good about this.”

When asked about how he feels about being nominated for a Shine On award, Connick said he is pretty much speechless. He said he is very grateful, and that it is good to be noticed when he and his staff do job that often do not get much positive feedback from the general public.

“It’s always good to have somebody thank you. It makes you feel you did something good. We feel like we’re doing bad a lot, or hold people back from getting into places or telling them they have to leave. It seems like we do a lot of negative more than good, it feels. It’s good to see that someone or some people have noticed and yes, it feels good. I’m literally speechless, but very happy.”