RCS Safety & Security Team Has Our Back
October is National Bullying Prevention Month, and we wanted to highlight one of our departments that goes above and beyond keeping the Reynoldsburg City Schools’ students and staff safe. Our Safety and Security Department of eight Safety Specialists, led by Director, former Marine and Reynoldsburg Police Officer Nicholas Keisel keep an eye on the District both in schools and at a birds-eye view to ensure everyone is safe.
Each level has a designated Security Specialist. The Elementary Schools will see Mr. Mark Heater roaming the halls and working with teachers and principals every day. Mr. Bill Schmitz, Mr. Shawn Jeter and Mr. Mitch Ewing oversee the Middle and Junior High Schools. At the high school campuses, Mr. Brett Murgatroyd and Mr. Curtese Poole are familiar faces at Summit Campus while Mr. Chris Arp and Mr. Evan Bergenstein hold down the fort at Livingston Campus.
In addition to their day-to-day duties of monitoring hallways, responding to and diffusing potential safety issues and maintaining surveillance cameras, the Security Specialists also chaperone dances, work crowd control at sporting events and also work events that interface with the community, such as our Homecoming Parade.
It’s a 24/7 job for Mr. Keisel and his team. Mr. Keisel works tirelessly with vendors such as those who control alarms at our schools, as well as our principals, counselors and social workers on safety matters, student code of conduct, emergency planning and more.
In addition to their day-to-day job, the team is constantly presenting and training safety best practices.
They also partner with the Reynoldsburg City Police Department, who place School Resource Officers - uniformed police officers- in schools to positively interact with our students. The SROs are a resource for students, can advocate on their behalf and handle law violations as necessary.
“The Safety and Security Team are a great group of guys,” said Mr. Keisel. “They’re hard working, driven and truly care about what they’re doing. They’ve inspired me to be a better leader.”
Mr. Keisel has seen some pretty interesting things in his time at Reynoldsburg City Schools, but he takes the safety and security of our schools very seriously. Mr. Keisel offers several different training programs to RCS Staff including active shooter response, visitor management, access control, emergency planning and drills and more. He also presents to students about sexting and cyber-bullying.
Mr. Keisel and his team stay up-to-date with safety best practices and procedures with frequent training. They recently went through anti-bullying and harassment training with the Ohio Department of Education, gang training with the Columbus Police Department, drug identification and searches with the Reynoldsburg Police Department, and they’ve even gone to New Mexico for Incident Response to Terrorist Bombing, which was fully paid for by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
“The Safety and Security team is a crucial part of our District,” he said. “The best part of my job is knowing our efforts are making it safer for our students and staff while allowing principals to focus on education.”