The Olentangy Local School District has created and filled a new role to bolster security around the district. At the Sept. 6 Olentangy Board of Education meeting, a two-year contract was unanimously approved to name Joe Suozzi as the district’s first director of safety, security and preparedness.
Suozzi will join the district in October, upon his retirement from the FBI, and his contract will run through 2020. According to an OLSD press release, the responsibilities of the position will include “assessing current safety security protocols and providing recommendations for improvement at districtwide and building levels.”
“Safety and security of our students, teachers, and staff is a high priority for the district,” Superintendent Mark Raiff said in the release. “While I’m confident in our current safety protocols and staff training, Mr. Suozzi’s expertise will help us identify ways we can create an even more secure environment, streamline response tactics, and keep Olentangy families and the community informed. We are fortunate to have someone with his background and expertise working for our district.”
Raiff said the first person he reached out to about filling the new position was Delaware County Sheriff Russell Martin, who Raiff called one of the most highly respected law enforcement officers in the state. Martin, not ready to step down as sheriff, declined the offer, but recommended Suozzi be considered. In total, eight people were considered for the position before a decision was made.
Suozzi, who Raiff said has already been involved in assessing security measures for the upcoming elementary additions, will come to OLSD with a wealth of experience in security and safety after working with the FBI for 20 years. According to the release, Suozzi’s experience with the FBI includes a multitude of roles in intelligence, special operations, special technologies, crisis management, firearms, SWAT, and work with the U.S. Embassy as a legal attaché. Suozzi also served as an officer for the Batavia Police Department and Genesee Sheriff’s Office, located in Batavia, New York.
Suozzi received his B.S. in criminal justice from the University of Dayton and attended New Agent Training at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia.
Because he is still employed by the FBI, Suozzi was not available to be interviewed. However, Suozzi states in the district’s press release, “I’m excited to be given this opportunity to use my years of training and experience to benefit the Olentangy Local School District. My family and I are active members of the Olentangy community, and it’s satisfying to know this next chapter of my career will have the potential to make our schools, district, and community safer and stronger.”
Reach Dillon Davis at 740-413-0904. Follow him on Twitter @ddavis_gazette.