Five Questions With Alliance Security Officer Theresa Seignious
Once again, the Downtown Alliance is honoring several members from our public safety team for outstanding service. The annual Guard Awards ceremony is a long-standing tradition at the Alliance, one that showcases how the community benefits in so many ways from having our officers keep their eyes and ears open for the neighborhood. This week we’re giving special recognition to the likes of supervisors Francisco Rosario and Shawn Soto, as well as security officers Nathan Turner, Darrell Joseph, Nyeisha Als and Theresa Seignious.
Approaching her eighth year in uniform for the Alliance, the Bronx-born and -bred Seignious took time out to share some insights about patrolling the streets of Lower Manhattan.
After eight years, you’ve no doubt become a familiar face to the neighborhood. How many locals recognize you in a month?
Hundreds! When I take a day off, they’re like, Where were you?! It’s often a lot of the delivery people who recognize me — FedEx and postal people — and the working people who go into their offices know me by name. And the tourists love whenever I approach them to help with directions. The kids always want the hat. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s the red! It’s so vibrant.
So do you let them wear the hat and take a photo?
It depends. It’s at our discretion. I’m a friendly person, so I don’t mind, but when Covid was at a highpoint, I kept at a distance. I was like, Could you just take the picture from over there?, but I would say it in a friendly manner. They wouldn’t mind. They were so excited.
What about locals? How often do you talk to a New Yorker who’s searching for an address?
A lot of people that have job interviews, and I’ll give ’em a little encouragement. You can do this, you’re gonna get it. Go ahead over there. One time this girl was like, I’m not going! And I said, Miss, please stop crying. You gotta have some faith. Then, when she went up there and got the job, she was so happy. She was like, Thank you, thank you, thank you — now I’m calling you “Auntie!”
Do you ever run into somebody who’s in the wrong borough?
Yes, that’s a good question. In Brooklyn, there’s a Fulton Street, in the Bronx there’s a Fulton Street and in Manhattan, there’s a Fulton Street — a lot of times, people come and they’re supposed to be in Brooklyn! People get upset. They can’t figure out which train to take, so I direct ’em. It’s not always tourists, either.
Do you have any professional tips for when it’s hot out and you’re on your feet all day?
Hydrate. Change your socks multiple times. Also, on my lunch break, I have my own foot massager in the locker room. And another thing: In the summer, you have to wear T-shirts under your shirts to absorb the heat, or else it’ll be stickin’. And in the winter? Layer up!Tags: five questions, public safety, theresa seignious