Imagine sending your teen off to a rock concert or a party and not having to worry. In a world where kids fall prey to drugs, alcohol, and Internet predators, peace of mind is not easy to come by. That’s where Got G.U.T.S. comes in.
By Janice Llanes Fabry
Imagine sending your teen off to a rock concert or a party and not having to worry. In a world where kids fall prey to drugs, alcohol, and Internet predators, peace of mind is not easy to come by. That’s where Got G.U.T.S. comes in. Last fall, Ed Gerrity, a longtime security provider, established a service dedicated to offering the highest level of safety and transportation for children ages 12-21.
“In today’s world, you have to be on your guard all the time. Society has changed dramatically and parents can’t ignore that,” explained Gerrity. “We give families a level of comfort.”
Born and raised in Rye, Gerrity was introduced to the business of security early on. His father, Ned Gerrity, ITT senior vice president, was threatened routinely. “While I was growing up, there were even threats from Charles Manson, so we constantly had security around us. I was drawn to it even then,” he recalled.
Consequently, he went on to earn a criminal justice degree at Manhattan’s John Jay College before working for Ned Gerrity and Associates on Purchase Street. “I rode dad’s coattails and provided executive protection and transportation for high-profile clients and their families,” he said.
Following his stint with his father, Gerrity served as Chief of Public Safety for Manhattanville College, as well as Director of Operations for Bo Dietl and Associates, New York City’s premier private investigation firm. While employed by the latter, he provided protection for celebrities Michael Jackson, Madonna, and Curtis Jackson (aka rapper 50 Cent). Gerrity achieved some celebrity himself as one of the subjects of an article about bodyguards in Esquire.
Leaving behind the unpredictable nature and eleventh-hour schedule changes of private security, he moved on to St. Vincent’s Hospital in 2004. “I remember working here as a 15-year-old with my mother, who was a Twig volunteer,” recalled Gerrity, who has come full circle.
As the hospital’s Director of Security and Transportation, he runs the entire property and its offsite locations, group homes, rehabilitation centers, and methadone clinics. He’s also in charge of transporting the vast outpatient population daily throughout Westchester.
Additionally, when the Capitol Theater reopened in Port Chester last fall, he signed on as Supervisor of Security. “Owner Peter Shapiro is very conscious about safety and security, so there’s always an EMS crew on site,” said Gerrity, who has been a volunteer fireman and emergency medical technician for Port Chester for 30 years.
His idea for Got G.U.T.S. grew out of observing adolescents at both St. Vincent’s and the Capitol. “Having taken care of a lot of the headliners, I had never been on the other side of the stage. I watched parents come to pick up their kids who weren’t there or kids whose buddies had left them alone,” he explained. “There was no one offering security and transportation for just kids.”
Got G.U.T.S (Gerrity’s Underage Transportation and Security) fills that void. Gerrity has assembled a team of experienced local and county police and firefighters, who moonlight as security agents and are available 24/7. All parents themselves, they are hired to transport kids to and from field trips, concerts, proms, ski trips, parties, or the airport. If parents want them to stay with their children at all times, they do. If parents prefer they wait outside, that’s fine, too. Gerrity has contacts in all the venues and knows the bouncers in the clubs, so he can keep abreast of what’s going on inside.
Some families buy concert tickets for their child and an agent merely because, as Gerrity put it, “What parent really wants to attend a Justin Bieber concert?” Others parents want to ensure their kids stay away from drugs and alcohol. Although the agent cannot always guarantee what’s going on inside a party or concert, Got G.U.T.S. can guarantee they’ll get the kids home safely. Other families, particularly wealthy, well-known clients, want to safeguard their kids from kidnapping,
“You have insurance for your house, your health, your boat, and car. This is insurance for your kids’ safety. We’re their guardians for that period of time,” he said.
Got G.U.T.S has male and female agents, who may be hired with or without vehicles and/or weapons. They are all trained as first responders and they all have a license to carry firearms. Services are available for $35 an hour and up. Kids are required to sign an agreement, basically stating they will be cooperative.
How do the kids feel about these formidable chaperones? So far, the consensus seems to be exceedingly positive. According to Gerrity, “The kids think it’s pretty cool, because we’re not mom or dad. They feel protected and at the same time we give them the flexibility to have fun with their friends. Above all, they get home safely.”
For more information on Got G.U.T.S., call 855-446-8488 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.