NOTRE DAME PREP BOLSTERS SECURITY FOOTPRINT
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January 5, 2024
School supplements robust security program by investing in a full-time director of security and safety.
Notre Dame Prep announced that it has hired Kerry F. Horton II as its new full-time director of security and safety, effective Jan. 3, 2024. Horton's extensive background in law enforcement, security management and his commitment to innovation and safety will play a key role in ensuring the safety and well-being of the school's campus community. In this newly created role, he will lead all emergency and safety protocols on campus and work collaboratively with surrounding community and law-enforcement partners.
According to Andrew J. Guest, Notre Dame Prep's head of school, the investment in a full-time security and safety officer position is a significant step in ongoing efforts to ensure that the school maintains a high level of safety for students, parents and staff.
"Kerry will work closely with school administration and lead our existing security efforts, which include a strong team of dedicated security professionals," added Guest. "Combined with our investment in a state-of-the art emergency communication system and more than 100 security cameras, I am confident that Notre Dame Prep is now one of the safest campuses in the state."
Horton, a retired federal law enforcement officer with 26 years of service, brings a wealth of security experience to Notre Dame Prep after serving primarily within the Federal Bureau of Prisons, beginning at the Federal Correctional Institution in Milan, Mich. In 2001, he transferred federal agencies and was hired by the United States Probation Department and specialized in cases involving drugs, firearms and high-risk criminal activity in Wayne, Macomb, Oakland and Genesee counties.
He is a nationally certified safety instructor and during his tenure with U.S. Probation, was responsible for developing and facilitating training in the application of use of force, self-defense tactics, hand-to-hand combat, ground fighting, handcuffing, weapon retention, and various other law enforcement-related areas.
In December 2021, he retired from the federal service and began working at Premier Security Solutions as an armed school security officer and would eventually be promoted to his most recent position as a school security manager, where he assisted in the oversight of security operations in eighteen school districts.
"I feel very humbled and blessed to have been chosen to fill this vital role at Notre Dame Prep," said Horton who maintains an office on the school's Giddings Road campus. "I believe my past law enforcement experience and time already spent at Notre Dame together make me uniquely qualified to meet our school's security and safety needs. I have spent my entire professional career in public service and am excited for the opportunity to continue serving the members of our school community."
Horton earned his bachelor's degree in criminal justice and sociology from the University of Michigan and a master's degree in criminology from Eastern Michigan University.
During the past two years with Premier, Horton has been actively involved in the security program at Notre Dame Prep, both as a security officer and manager. These experiences have allowed him to gain valuable insight into the security practices and needs at NDP, as well as developing positive working relationships with the various members of the school community.
"Even prior to accepting my new position with the school," he added, "I already considered myself a member of this community, which I am totally devoted to keeping safe."
Horton also noted that Notre Dame Prep's current security program historically has been strong and effective.
"To the credit of our school's leadership, NDP continues to treat security as a top priority and invests in any upgrades necessary to meet the needs of our school community," he said. "That includes maintaining high staffing levels of contracted security personnel on all campuses, the lease of a security vehicle and increased security markings on personally owned security vehicles for added deterrence, installation of additional cameras/video monitoring, electronic visitor check-in screening, and the expanded use of keycards on designated building entry points."
Horton said a big part of his job is to continually assess all campus facilities and established emergency procedures and make adjustments as necessary. He also plans to maintain the existing working relationship with local law enforcement agencies such as the Oakland County Sheriff's Office.
"Local law enforcement offers an added layer of support in maintaining an orderly campus, as well as being first responders to any critical incident that may occur. By keeping everyone protected and feeling safe, teachers can be comfortable teaching, students can learn and our school divisions can operate at their maximum effectiveness."
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About Notre Dame Preparatory School
Notre Dame Preparatory School is a private, Catholic, independent, coeducational day school located in Oakland County. Notre Dame Preparatory School's upper school enrolls students in grades nine through twelve and has been named one of the nation's best 50 Catholic high schools (Acton Institute) four times since 2005. Notre Dame Prep's middle and lower schools enroll students in pre-kindergarten through grade eight. All three schools are International Baccalaureate "World Schools." NDPMA is conducted by the Marist Fathers and Brothers and is accredited by the Independent Schools Association of the Central States and the National Association of Independent Schools. For more on Notre Dame Preparatory School, visit the school’s home page at www.ndpma.org.