Q&A with Head of Security Robert McCorry

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Q&A with Head of Security Robert McCorry

by Chloe Siohan, Chief Copy Editor

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Chloe Siohan: What was your previous job experience?

Robert McCorry: I started in Pequannock Township on January 1st, 1999. I was in patrol for 20 years. And I retired in January of 2019. Almost a year ago. Duties as a police officer for patrol was calls for service, medical calls, traffic enforcement, criminal law enforcement and dealing with the public as far as the school system and Pequannock Township. We had a very good relationship with the Board of Education, and we interacted on a regular basis. Anything that the schools had going on, we were usually there, whether it’s sporting events, any of the shelter in place policies for security. We worked with the security people for the school district.

As far as security, probably six years into my police career, I had been employed by an executive protection company that was out of Manhattan and did a lot of work in the executive protection field. So it was corporate security and entertainment security we worked for. We did a lot of jobs for Spike TV. We did a lot of jobs at the Waldorf Astoria. And also, we would fly out and do the Golden Globe Awards every single year. There was a lot of exposure as far as entertainment and corporate security was concerned.

CS: Did you ever get to meet any celebrities?

RM: On several occasions.

CS: How come you wanted to be a security guard at Glen Rock High and Middle School?

RM: Well, because I worked in the security industry. And when I retired from the police department. School security, obviously, is a very important aspect of the security industry. It was something that I always wanted to be involved in and having the security background, I started to kind of gravitate towards that as I got closer to retirement, and once I retired, it allowed me more time. A lot of these security details for school districts, it’s… You have to be there 7am, Monday through Friday to 3:30pm. So, obviously working shift work as a police officer, that didn’t allow. So once I retired, I put forth all the effort to get into school security at that point in time.

CS: Did you like doing school security better than other types of security?

RM: It all has its pros and cons, dealing with the entertainment industry, it’s long hours, dealing with corporate it’s long hours as well. School security, there’s aspects of it, as far as the hours are, are pretty decent, but you’re in one location. Entertainment and corporate stuff, it’s… The travel is very time consuming. So I kind of wanted to go towards that avenue, kind of keep it more localized. 

CS: What special training do you have?

RM: So, being a police officer, there’s a lot of in service training once you get out of our police academy [which] was five months. And once you get out of the academy, you start your job, and there’s constant training involved. So, during the course of my law enforcement career, I was able to take a lot of interview and interrogation courses. I was able to take surveillance courses, I was able to take crime scene investigation courses. And that kind of helps with recognizing certain aspects of What could be a security issue, what could be a hazard, how to remedy that issue. Critical thinking: big part of it, and communication definitely is a is a big part of law enforcement that carries over into the security aspect, especially in a school district. You have to be able to convey the rules and regulations in a manner that you’re not upsetting the applecart.

CS: What do you like about Glen Rock High and Middle School?

RM: It’s interesting that when I first started here in September, immediately, I recognized it– And I said this the other night, that there’s a huge pride that the students and the staff have in this school district. And everybody, everybody has it, and they take being here very seriously. And that, to me was kind of welcoming. We walked in here, I didn’t know anyone. I maybe knew, one or two people on the staff. I didn’t know any of the students, and every single day, we stand at that door, and when the kids are leaving, they thank us for being here, and tell us to have a good night. And in the morning, they say “Good morning” and “How are you?” It’s a welcoming environment, so I like that a lot.

CS: What is your favorite part of the job and why?

RM: Just the interaction with, the staff, the students, the parents, there’s a lot of good people here, and it shows, so that makes it a lot better to come here and do the job. And incidentally, so I’ve been here since September and they had the application process out for the new director of security. I went through that, and I will be the new director of security for the district starting January 1. So that’s one of the other goals that I had when I retired, [which] was to further my career goals. And I’ve succeeded in doing that, and I look forward to the task.

CS: What is the hardest part of your job?

RM: One of the hardest parts of this job, law enforcement job as primarily, that also flows into the security aspect is trying to understand and sometimes you can’t understand why a person just does not want to do the right thing. And it’s not hard to do the right thing. But people take massive amounts of effort to not do the right thing at times, especially in law enforcement. Not so much here. But that’s always been one of those things that’s been on my brain. Really how hard is it to just do the right thing man? It’s not hard.

CS: Do you have any funny stories from your time as a security guard here?

RM: What I find entertaining is… so the middle school in the high school are together. And the middle schoolers have to come through the high school to get to the cafeteria, or go to class, Media Center. It’s entertaining to me, and I don’t know why. I don’t know where it comes from. But if you’re in sixth grade, you have to run to everything. And you kind of slow down a little bit more in seventh grade, but you’re still running to get where you need to be. And in eighth grade, you slow it down a little bit more. And you’re still kind of trying to get where you need to be in a fast manner. And then it’s freshman year, everybody pulls the ebrake. And we’re not running anywhere, we’re going to walk as slow as we can. So kinda it’s humorous to watch. And I tell them, “Stop running, stop running,” and as soon as they get to the top of the stairs, they don’t think that I’m watching them and they take off again. So that’s kind of one of the entertaining things.

CS: Did you enjoy being a police officer?

RM: I did enjoy being a police officer, it was an excellent job. There’s a lot of benefits to being a police officer. Again, if I wasn’t a police officer, I wouldn’t have been exposed to the security industry, and that’s obviously where I’m at, and I was very fortunate for that. I think a lot of people kind of tend to, when they’re looking towards going into a law enforcement field, they think that you just have to start off as being a police officer, that’s not the case. Sometimes if you start off as a police officer, you can switch gears and go into another aspect of law enforcement. But you can also start off and then… Totally different aspect, you don’t need to be the officer that’s stopping cars on the side of the road. You can be a detective with the Secret Service, the FBI. You can go to county, be a crime scene investigator, there’s so many aspects of law enforcement that I think a lot of people just don’t think about when they want to go into that field. So, I try to tell people to explore every aspect of it, just because, “I want to be a police officer.” Okay, well, that’s that’s great, great job. I did it. I loved it. But, see if there’s something else that you want to do, before you get bolted down to one thing. Sometimes people want to do something else, but they’ve now vested time into that department, and it makes it harder for them to switch gears and leave to go do something else. So don’t tie yourself down to one thing, kind of explore everything before going into that line of work. Just make sure that… If you want to stop cars on the side of the road, that’s great. I mean, hey, all the power to you, but… the investigation aspect of it, there’s so many different areas.