By Catherine McDonough, Managing Online Editor
He serves as Benedictine’s Chief of Security, but he’s also known as BC’s “gentle giant.”
Born in Sunflower, Miss., Danny Fairley was a standout high school tri-sport athlete, playing football, basketball and baseball.
After a year in college and six years in the U.S. Navy, Fairley became acting chief of police in Moorhead, Miss., later becoming city manager.
Within those positions, Fairley worked also with Corrections Corporation of America and private prisons. In 2002, he was transferred to work for a prison in Leavenworth, Kan., to work for the U.S. Marshall’s prison. He also started working for Alutiiq, a government contracting company.
“I was a contractor overseas and the projects I worked on are undisclosed information,” Fairley said.
Fairley came back to the U.S. in 2008 and started working alongside seven other officers for Benedictine’s security company, Allied Barton.
“We outsource for security to Allied Barton,” said Matt Fassero, director of Benedictine operations. “They have a better training program and better staff. Our passion and focus as administrators is community, faith and scholarship, while theirs is security.”
Fairley’s title for Allied Barton is account manager, but he is also the Chief of Security at Benedictine.
Fairley lives in Leavenworth with his wife Chaundra and two daughters.
“My wife is my high school sweetheart and on May 19, we will have been married for 24 years,” he said.
Fairley’s wife is a guidance counselor at Leavenworth High School, where his daughter Chancia is enjoying her senior year.
The man in the tent
About two years ago, Benedictine needed someone to run concessions at soccer games, so Fairley stepped up.
“They were looking for someone new and exciting,” Fairley said. “I have AnnieBelz, my cooking ‘company’ named after my mother Annie and my grandmother Belzoria. They taught me how to cook, and now I teach my daughters how to cook.”
Fairley and his daughters cook for the soccer games, making crowd-pleasing favorites for fans.
“We’ve had great reviews,” Fairley said. “Our bestseller is the steak sandwich. We also serve pulled pork, brats, hotdogs, chips, sodas and sports drinks.”
Fairley smiled as he explained that he loves to make anything on the grill. In addition to cooking for soccer games for the past three years, he has been cooking barbecue for the Staff Luau Barbecue and the Ambassador’s Barbecue.
“I like to have my girls help out,” Fairley said. “They learn hard work with a smile pays off.”
A typical day
“My day starts before anyone else,” Fairley said. “It begins with calls, emails, texts from officers – all status updates.”
“I answer questions about anything that’s going on,” he said as he held up two iPhones. “My duties include meetings, structural problems, relations with contractors, student IDs, liaison between fire chief and police in Atchison, operational things and maintenance. I honestly do everything. I am also the campus 911.”
Fairley has also provided security for Benedictine events such as the Scholarship Ball.
It’s also his job to regulate parking on campus. The rules in place for parking and ticketing are to allow for emergency vehicles and responders in the case of a crisis, he said.
“I also love people, all people,” he continued. “I am a gentle giant. When people see me in my position, people see business, but I truly love people.”
“He is part of the family,” Fassero said. “He is a huge asset to campus. He fits uniquely in his role, merging himself into the community with extra duties. He’s 100 percent in and wants to be part of the team.”
“I want students to know that Security is not just to enforce, but to help and assist,” Fairley said. “We want to have an unbroken line of communication and to have the students feel comfortable talking to us. We are mom and dad when mom and dad aren’t here.”
“The best thing about working at Benedictine is that I love the people here,” Fairley continued. “I love seeing parents drop their kids off freshman year and come back for their graduation… They say, I remember you; you were here when we dropped her off.”