Dr. James Corbin grew the number of Hamilton County Schools Safety Department employees to more than 60 in only three years.
Many K-12 school districts are considering starting their own safety and security departments or expanding the departments they already have.
Dr. James Corbin, who is student safety and security coordinator for Hamilton County Schools in Tennessee, was tasked with developing a safety department for his district. Not only did he do so from scratch, but he also grew his department to more than 60 employees in only three years. Additionally, almost all of his employees have stayed with the department… a remarkable feat considering the current tight labor market.
The idea to create a safety department came about because the local law enforcement agency assigned to protect the district was having difficulty recruiting school resource officers, and the school board wanted more safety and security personnel on its K-12 campuses.
At Corbin’s very first school board meeting, one of the board members suggested the district contract with a private security company.
“I said, ‘No. If we are going to do this, we need to do it ourselves and do it right,’” said Corbin.
The board agreed and adjourned a few minutes later. Corbin thought that because of his suggestion, he would lose his job, which he had only started four days earlier.
Instead, the district superintendent asked him to create the program that he had recommended.
Corbin began with eight employees, but, prompted by last year’s Robb Elementary School mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas, quickly expanded that number after the district superintendent called for armed officers at each school is the district.
Corbin’s success in developing his district’s safety department is just one of the reasons why he’s been named one of this year’s Campus Safety K-12 Director of the Year finalists.
The 2023 Director of the Year winner will be announced on July 12 at Campus Safety Conference West. CSC West will be in Henderson, Nevada, July 10-12, and CSC Texas will be in Dallas, July 31 – August 2. CLICK HERE for more information and to register.
Here’s my interview with James Corbin as well as the timestamps of what was specifically covered in the interview:
Watch the full interview here or listen to it on the go on Apple or Spotify.
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