A friendly face returns to the gatehouse

Val Miller | Marlin Chronicle
Val Miller | Marlin Chronicle

By Corey King

Corporal Monica Johnson, a security officer at Virginia Wesleyan College was back in her usual spot at the VWC entrance gate greeting students and checking ID’s, as it was her first day back to work this past week. She was involved in a hit and run on the campus on Oct. 7, 2015.
Johnson was struck by a car that drove right through the entrance gate at the college. The car was there to pick up a student but the driver of the car wasn’t registered with security so they were not allowed on the campus. The driver then proceeded to drive onto the campus ignoring Johnson and went to pick up the student. As the driver was attempting to exit the campus Johnson sprang into action. While trying to stop the vehicle, she was stuck by the car, and the driver kept going.
“I’m still sore, recovery is very slow. However, I’m still in therapy. Hopefully I can make a full recovery soon,” Johnson said.
Many Virginia Wesleyan Students were shaken up by this event.
“I was driving into campus and saw all the police cars and fire trucks. I had no idea what was going on I just hoped that everyone was going to be ok. After I heard who it was I was shocked because she is always so nice and in a good mood. I was just hoping that she was going to be ok,” junior Justin Erby said.
The students and staff at Virginia Wesleyan College sent their prayers, kind words and a speedy recovery to Johnson and the same when she returned to the gate last week.
“I was so glad to finally see her again, and see that she was still as positive as ever,” sophomore Kiersten Richardson said.
“I would like to thank everyone for their well wishes and blessing. And all the warm welcomes at the Gatehouse,” Johnson said.
Many students may think that signing on a guest is pointless, or that the security officers are doing too much. Well, it is things like signing guests on that keep the campus safe and more enjoyable for the students. It also makes life on the Security officers easier because the guests’ information is already in front of them, and they can have their guest pass ready before they get there.
“If all the students can make sure that they sign their guest on prior to coming on to the campus. If the guest is signed on prior to, the process for signing on is very simple and easy. However, if the guest is not signed on prior, then the process takes a little longer and people become very frustrated. Hopefully, after the accident people and student will learn to be a little more patient and understanding. We as security officers at the gatehouse handle multiple tasks,” Johnson said.
Experiences like this that happen in people’s lives leave them emotionally weary about going back into the same environment that they were in when the extremely traumatizing event happened. But most people are not like Johnson.
“I will continue to keep the campus safe. I will continue to check all ID’s for students and guests,” Johnson said.
Johnson is right back in the heart of VWC, making sure that the campus for the students living as well as learning on the campus is as safe and secure as possible.
Many cases like this case involving Johnson take time to piece together to find who hit her. This case is listed as a hit and run. When asked about the case and how much progress Virginia Beach police had made on the case Johnson was not able to elaborate on any part of it.
“I’m not at liberty to speak about the investigation. All I can say it’s on going,” Johnson said.
So for now the VWC community has to sit back and wait for the men in blue to do their job and bring this case to a close. As for Johnson she is excited to be back with her co-workers, faculty and staff and students at Virginia Wesleyan College. If you want to stop by and see Johnson, you can catch her with a smile on, waving hey, while asking for your ID’s and if anyone is with you at the entrance gate house at the entrance to campus.