New school security guard patrols Staples

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Rebecca Hoving and Margot Mather

On the morning of Dec. 4, 2015, Staples students were notified via email that a new security guard, Michael Velasquez, would be joining the faculty.

Velasquez is a former police officer from New York City, but recently decided to move over to the school security aspect of law enforcement. “What made me want to be a school security guard is things like Sandy Hook,” he said, speaking with sorrow of the incident. “Schools are the most vulnerable, and I want to be able to protect.”

As Assistant Principal Patrick Micinilio put it, a “school security guard is an important position.”

Velasquez stated something very similar. He acknowledged that “[Police] uniform and presence deters a lot,” and that “somebody who comes and sees someone like me is going to turn right back around.”  

Micinilio also acknowledged a security guard’s variety of duties, ranging from being the “eyes and ears outside of the building” to “redirecting any student who might be trying to leave [campus] without permission.”

In addition to these duties, Velasquez stressed that he wants “to have a good relationship with the faculty and the students”

Velasquez plans to be tough but fair.  “I definitely will appeal to logic when dealing with students who are trying to leave the building,” Velasquez said. “Saturday detention doesn’t sound too good to me, but if it does to you, go for it.”

While Velasquez has just started the job and even describes it as “just peachy,” he wasn’t the first of security guards hired. In fact, Staples has had three security guards in the past month alone, eliciting a variety of confused reactions from students and teachers alike.

   “Having three different security guards in such a short time span isn’t exactly a securing feeling,” Kellie Iannacone ’17 said.

Micinilio, however, pointed to several legitimate reasons for the lack of a consistent guard. He noted that Nelson Alicea, the Staples security guard for the majority of the past three years, left because he was offered an indoor security job at Coleytown Elementary School. Micinilio gave Alicea the highest regard, saying “He was outstanding, and we were sorry to see him leave.”

Soon after Alicea’s leave, Bob Markum quickly filled in, and then left two weeks later because of “personal reasons that emerged as soon as he was hired,” according to Micinilio.

Despite the trouble in hiring a new guard, Velazquez is ready and already learning the ropes, saying, “I have a duty to keep the school safe.”