[Oct. 2016 Features] Palmer and Perillo protect our community

By Phoebe Mendelson ’17


As you walk through the doors of Staples each morning bleary eyed and tired from the previous night’s work, you are likely to be greeted by one of the two campus security guards. Ronald Palmer and William Perillo are both retired police officers and when combined have a total of 55 years of police work behind them.

The two former policemen are already adjusting to the Staples community. “We feel the community has been great. We have been treated with respect by the students, parents and staff,” Perillo said.

Palmer goes on to say that he doesn’t have a specific favorite memory or moment at Staples thus far into the year, but he enjoys each and every day that he spends here. “Just meeting good people. Each and every day I meet nice folks, both student and staff. It’s really a beautiful environment here,” Palmer said.

According to Assistant Principals Patrick Micinilio and Rich Franzis, having two security guards comes with many benefits. “We have never had a security guard in the building before to ensure that the inside of SHS is secure. The security position has always been an outdoor position prior to this school year.”

Principal James D’Amico is incredibly fond of the idea of two security guards and hopes to continue to have them in the future. “We have a huge building at over 200,000 square feet, and being able to monitor the whole thing while keeping over 1,800 students and another 200 adults safe is a challenge,” D’Amico said.

When asked about her former career, Ronald Palmer felt like being a police officer was within him even before joining the police force. He felt this way all his life, and when he joined the force it felt completely right to him. “I always had a liking for helping people and it had kind of been within me before I joined the force. When I joined it kind of felt like being on a big team,” Palmer remarked.

Due to Palmer’s affinity for helping others, it’s no wonder that his best memory about being on the police force was one relating to helping a child. “A young child was lost and the mother was so out of it and sad and when we found and returned the child to her she was so elated, especially because we were able to return him safely and with no injuries,” Palmer recounted.

While Palmer’s and Perillo’s background in law enforcement has been a prominent and formative part of their lives, they also have deep roots within family and community. Palmer was raised in Brooklyn and has both a daughter and a granddaughter who he is very close with. Perillo was born and raised in Stratford, and while he does not have any kids of his own, he involves himself with the children of his community through working in the youth bureau.

Whether they’re helping people in their local communities or guarding the halls of Staples High School, Ronald Palmer and William Perillo will continue to bring their smiles to work everyday.