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Jax Daily Record Tuesday, Feb. 6, 200712:00 PM EST

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by: Max Marbut Associate Editor

by Max Marbut

Staff Writer

About 3,000 people work for the 50 companies at One Independent Square. First Coast Security Site Manager Waymond Lee and his staff provide a wide range of services to those tenants, from giving directions to visitors and clients to making sure the building, loading dock and parking garages are secure.

“When my walkie-talkie goes off, there’s no telling where I’m going,” said Lee, who has worked in the building for 13 years. In addition to One Independent Square, Lee and his staff also provide security for the Life of the South building across the street and the parking garage across Bay Street.

A high-tech surveillance network with dozens of cameras located throughout and around the building allows Lee to keep an eye on things from his command post in the lobby. Still, he spends a lot of his time patrolling the outside perimeter and 37 floors of the building, including two underground parking garages and the roof.

“No two days are ever the same,” said Lee. “I call it a good day when we don’t have any major incidents.”

Lee said he occasionally has to escort a trespasser or solicitor off the property. With so many companies in the building, he said, there is almost always a special event on the day’s schedule.

“We set up a lot of tables and chairs and PA [public addess] systems for meetings,” said Lee. “Some days I feel more like a roadie. Whatever will make it work, that’s what we do.”

When he’s not making sure the building is secure, Lee refurbishes computers people don’t want any more and gives them to people who wouldn’t otherwise have one. Lee said that over the years, he has recycled more than 200 computers that were headed for the trash bin but still had some use left in them.

Recently, he has expanded his recycling hobby to include copiers, which he repairs and donates to groups. He said people are always offering him office furniture they no longer need, as well.

Lee said a couple of weeks ago he inherited four “refugee copiers.” He gave two to a church and kept one for the security office, but the other one disappeared before a new home could be found for it. It created an interesting situation.

“Somebody just stole it. It was headed for the trash container, anyway – but who was I supposed to call to report the theft?”

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