Parents trust the security guards and the police officers to ensure their child's safety at school. They send their kids knowing that there will always be someone there to protect their child from any harm. At EHHS, the students consider the security guards and the police officers their friends, and someone whom they can trust to go to with any information or problems they have. However, there are some debates when it comes to the jobs of the security guards, their role in the school community and the many lengths they and the police department go to to ensure the students safety.
Security guards, Rick Sanzo and Cindy Russo, both have been working at EHHS for many years: Cindy Russo for 16 years and Rick for 8 years. Their job is to ensure the safety and security of the students and the staff. Many students believe the security team of this school is weak and they don’t do their jobs correctly. However, Rick and Cindy both hope to clear these misconceptions. Rick explained what they do throughout the day for the safety of this school: they lock all doors, do at least 20 door checks: one every half an hour. Behind the security desk, they monitor over 150-200 cameras through the day. Rick said, “It appears that we sit here in relaxation but we actually so more than everybody combined all at once. We have to be multitaskers.”
Cindy had commented that they do many checks hallways, bathrooms, locker room and they help support the staff as much as possible. Many people lost sight of the fact that every security guard in this school has a law enforcement background and they have experience in emergency situations. Rick had spent 25 years in the department of corrections as an officer in a maximum security prison. They read people and know what is going to happen before it happens because of their interpersonal communication skills. They have had many experiences in that field of work and they are people that every student and staff member can depend on.
In addition to the security guards, police officers come to EHHS daily to do check around the school. Officer Fred Sego had mentioned that when he visits, he has a tag that needs to be scanned in order to get in. Some things he said he does during checks are, “I walk through the whole school. I walk through the hallways, look into classrooms, check in with the principle and the security guards to know if there is anything that needs to be addressed and make sure there is nothing to worry about.”
Officer John Fraenza, the school’s former liaison officer, believes having an officer present makes a difference because it deters petty crime, he sees a change in the demeanor of each student and he states that if the students see that constant threat already present, then they would think twice about doing anything harmful. Officers Fraenza and Sego feel that having a good relationship with the students inside and out the school makes their jobs easier, and lets the students know that if there is a situation or problem, they have someone they can rely on. “It’s a good way to connect with the community in a different way,” said Officer Fraenza. They hope that every student and staff member feel safe and secure when they are there.
Principal Vincent DeNuzzo believes in the 19 years he has been at EHHS as the principle the security team has improved and has become people who everyone should feel safe around. He has a lot of admiration and trust in them to keep everyone safe, as do many students and staff members. He commented, “Our security guards, they are important, to make sure that the doors are secure, to make sure that if there is someone out of the ordinary, they have the ability to go and see what’s happening.” With their knowledge and experience, DeNuzzo hopes that every student in the building knows that there is someone they can talk to or go to if they need to.
Junior Alexis Pendziwater believes the security guards should be more security guards with the students rather than friends: “The guards need to be more harsh and loud so some students don’t think they can walk all over them.” Senior Vicky Gaudino, who often sees the security guards, said, “They keep the doors locked, they make sure everyone is safe and where they need to be, they check the halls constantly and make sure there is nothing out of the ordinary. They go out of their way to make sure everyone is safe.”However, in addition to keeping the students safe, they also have a positive effect on the students. Vicky said, “They all have bright personalities and they bring the school together. They treated all the students, staff and everyone with respect and they are kind hearted.”
The main purpose of having security guards in schools is to protect and ensure everyone's safety. At EHHS, many precautions are taken in order to keep everyone safe like having police officers come by daily and having security guards present all day, everyday.