Topeka Director Of School Safety Up For National Award

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- Campus Safety Magazine announced the finalists for its Campus Safety Director of the year award and Topeka Public Schools' Director of School Safety, Ron Brown is one of them.

After 28 years with the Topeka Police Department, Brown decided to retire. However, that plan didn't last long.

"I got a call from the superintendent at the time Kevin Singer, Dr. Singer, who asked if I would be willing to come over here and be the head of this agency," said Brown.

A bit ironic, considering that part of Brown's job at TPD was to help the district transition away from its own police force. Now, Brown has rebuilt it and, he says, made it even better.

"We did a very extensive security audit of all of the schools to look at what are they doing well, and where they can improve," said Brown.

As a result, Topeka schools gained better security cameras, keyless entry systems, and lighting, among other things. Brown also created an all-hazards emergency plan for the district.

Now, Campus Safety Magazine is recognizing his hard work by naming him a finalist for its Campus Safety Director of the Year award.

"I was shocked initially, I was elated," said Brown. "I know it sounds a little cliche, it's nice to be nominated."

Angela Locke, who was in charge of submitting Brown's nomination, says she can't think of a more deserving person.

"I thought I knew what campus police do," said Locke, a communications specialist for Topeka Public Schools. "And what I found out is it's so much more than what any of us imagined to keep this operation going and to do what is needed to keep everyone safe."

People can vote for Brown online at thru February 15th. The winner will be announced in April.