Security Staff: Always On Their Guard


Joclynn Cochran, Staff Writer

Across America, a greater and greater police presence is becoming necessary in schools. Students fight. Threats are made. Shoulders are needed to cry on.

The lack of credible incidents at Elkhart High School prove that the police officers and security guards here help made this a safe place for students and staff alike.

Officers make sure crime and confrontations are minimalized on the school premises. While classes are in session, guards patrol the hallways. They also enforce rules by encouraging kids to get to class on time and checking hall passes to make sure that they are both current and legitimate. In addition to patrolling on foot, security keeps a close eye on the surveillance cameras. The serveillants keep watch on separate divisions of the school.

William Coatie does double duty. “In school, I am a security guard. But, when I’m on the outside of school, I am an attendance officer.” Coatie notes that one of the most effective ways to keep a building safe is by building relationships. “I usually try to get to know kids,” he explains. “This will help them feel comfortable with us as officers.” Coatie adds on by saying, “Getting to know kids helps me know when something is about to go down. It also helps me get a full understanding of what’s going to happen.” This is vital so they can prevent any issues from occurring.

Fellow security guard Thomas Davis also does his part to ensure a safe environment. “My job here is to make sure the interior part of the school stays safe,” he states, “but I watch for exterior things, as well. ” One of the best ways to do that is via the cameras. “I view cameras to watch many hallways all at once.” His mission is not to get students in trouble. In fact, it is just the opposite. “I watch students to keep them out of trouble,” Davis explains. “I make sure they don’t violate rules–for example, smoking.” Does he ever get tired of it all? “No, not really. That’s my job–to keep the school safe.”

Surprisingly, the hardest part of the job is not what many would think. “For me,” Davis states, “the hardest part is not having enough time in the day to get things done. We deal with a lot more things that students aren’t aware of. For this reason, we need more time.”  Coatie nods in agreement but has his own take on it. “I wouldn’t say there is a hard part: Everyday is different. ” He concludes, saying, “I believe if you treat kids with respect, they will treat you with respect.”

While these security staff offer varied opinions on the most difficult aspect of their job, they both agree the easiest part is simply “showing up.” For that, students and staff alike are very grateful each and every day.