Q&A with Security Greeter Brian Newman


by Isis Kirkland, Editor-in-Chief

Isis Kirkland: So what is your name and how do you spell it? Like your full name?

Brian Newman: Brian Newman

IK: Okay. So what is your formal title here in the high school?

BN: Security greeter.

IK: How long have you been a security greeter here?

BN: Since the beginning of the school year, September.

IK: Do you have special training?

BN: I was a police officer for 27 years prior to coming here. I retired four years ago, December 1 of 2015. And prior to that, I was with the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office for 27 years.

IK: What police academy did you go to?

BN: I’ve been to several academies. I went to the Bergen County Police Academy, I went to the Passaic County Police Academy, and I’ve gone to the Morris County Police Academy. I was a canine officer at one time and my partner was a dog years ago, so I went to Morris County for canine training. Since I retired, I’ve worked in other school districts.

IK: So what was the transition like going from being a police officer to being here? Do you like it? How different is it?

BN: Since I retired to this environment, it’s a lot different. You don’t have that authority anymore of being a police officer, you’re here more so to nurture, and for the safety of the students. 

IK: What is your biggest pet peeve about students?

BN: I really don’t have any. I’m gonna be very truthful, I believe the kids are pretty awesome. I tell people all the time outside of the school who ask how the kids are, I’m like…it’s like a country club. The kids here are very very respectful. I open the doors and they say thank you. I say good morning, they say good morning back. They say “Mr. Brian, have a good weekend!” I think overall it’s a phenomenal environment. I’ve worked in other school districts and it’s totally opposite, a lot of disrespect. They didn’t care what I was wearing, and it’d say police officer on it. They had a lot of disrespect for me, they didn’t care who I was. Here, it’s like the other spectrum. I wish I would have been here years ago.

IK: What is your biggest pet peeve about the parents? 

BN: I’m just astonished by how many things are dropped off in this school. If it’s a latte, a Coolatta, AirPods, it could rubber bands for his or her braces. Which, you know, when I grew up if you forgot something you forgot something. You know, I don’t think if you forgot to put your rubber bands in your mouth your teeth are gonna shift in six hours. And the number of lunches dropped off- that doesn’t bother me, I’m just astonished. It could be 50-60 launches dropped off by parents a day and it’s not just sixth graders, a lot of high school kids get dropped off lunches from the parents!

IK: So, I don’t know if you remember, it was an old conversation, but they were talking about giving teachers guns because of school shootings. Do you think teachers should be able to carry guns?

BN: I totally disagree with that, I don’t even have a gun. There are accidental discharges, like where are you going to secure that gun in the classroom? You can’t carry a gun on you. The things I have to go through to be a retired police officer to carry gun is a lot, and I’m trained! I’m totally against that because their job is to educate the children. You know, you’re not here to shoot somebody or take down the threat. That’s what security or police officers are for.