Great People Make All the Difference

…and the campus safety community is blessed to have so many.

I had a phone conversation with the director of safety and security for Evansville-Vanderburgh School Corp. in Evansville, Ind., earlier today and was reminded of just how much progress he and his school corporation have made in the past few years. 

Gerald Summers is a retired law enforcement officer who has adapted extremely well to his role in the K-12 school safety arena.  While his years of service as a school resource officer (SRO) prior to retiring from local law enforcement are certainly a plus, his passion for making kids safe, combined with an eagerness to learn all that he can and willingness to collaborate with others are a credit to the campus safety profession. Gerald has studied and learned about workplace safety, emergency preparedness, OSHA regulations, physical security and a host of other areas of expertise needed to perform his work well. 

Gerald somehow managed to draw more than 200 people to a community forum on school safety though no major safety incidents had occurred in his corporation to peak interest in the topic. Though not a trained grant writer, he has learned to write grant applications, develop training programs and develop an extremely strong school safety working group in his district, which enthusiastically works as a team to develop new and effective school safety plans. 

Working closely with a super sharp, supportive and truly gifted school superintendent, astute cabinet officials, caring principals, dedicated area public safety personnel and concerned parents who also deeply care about school safety, Gerald has affected steady and meaningful improvement in his school corporation. He and his vast safety team are proof positive that there are good people in every community who will come forward, hand in hand, to improve school safety with the right catalyst to keep them focused.

A soft spoken, gentle and humble man, Gerald is a prime example of the many stellar people who dedicate their lives to campus safety with great effect. I usually check with people before I write about them but did not do so in this case as he would have forbid me to speak of his accomplishments this way (sorry Gerald). 

Gerald was a cop’s cop and has adapted well to his role an advocate for the children. Any parent would be lucky to have Gerald standing watch over their child. Gerald is unique and special, yet I have met hundreds and in fact thousands of special men and women like him across our nation. Each of these awesome human beings make their own presence felt and has their own unique impact on a field that is critical to our nation. 

It is a privilege, honor and a pleasure to get to meet so many great people with a pervasive focus on the critical and meaningful service to others that campus safety leaders provide. I am grateful for Gerald’s service and for the service that his many colleagues across the nation provide. We are truly a blessed nation to have so many talented people who work tirelessly for the good of others.

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About the Author


Michael Dorn serves as the Executive Director of Safe Havens International, a global non profit campus safety center. During his 30 year campus safety career, Michael has served as a university police officer, corporal, sergeant and lieutenant. He served as a school system police chief for ten years before being appointed the lead expert for the nation's largest state government K-20 school safety center. The author of 25 books on school safety, his work has taken him to Central America, Mexico, Canada, Europe, Asia, South Africa and the Middle East. Michael welcomes comments, questions or requests for clarification at Note: The views expressed by guest bloggers and contributors are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, Campus Safety magazine.

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