To be successful at anything you have to have a plan, and make everyone involved aware of its details. Make your priorities clear, and communicate them well to those who need to know.
School buildings, school buses and school activities; until recently these were places and activities where one's personal safety was very seldom in doubt. Tragically we cannot make blanket assumptions like this as a society today. Questions now have to be asked which not so long ago would never have crossed the minds of parents, teachers or school administrators.
Over the past few months members of the Buckeye Local School District Board of Education have struggled with several such questions, likely the sort of thing they never thought they would be called on to address when initially considering whether or not to run for a seat on this board.
As have many other school districts across Ohio and across this nation recently, the district's board and its administrative team have faced questions about what the need is for school resource officers: full or part-time, uniformed or not, supported by the visual deterrent created when a marked cruiser is placed in the school parking lot, should they be drawn from the ranks of local law enforcement departments or from among our nation's veterans, should there be a certain number of these individuals dedicated to particular buildings, environments or vehicles.
When choosing a person to help protect your child from harm and to help better prepare them for life's ups and downs you seek out the best person for the job and ask them to commit to the effort.
The challenge then often becomes more about being willing to step back and let experts do what you hire them to do then it becomes about anything else.
The Buckeye Local board of education members came to a point at its last meeting at which they were called on by the superintendent to get the ball rolling immediately toward achievable safety assessments and improvement goals.
To that point, several board members batted around seemingly viable ideas on how to go about beginning to improve safety standards and practices across the district though none seemed to break through the conversational quagmire until Superintendent Mark Miller found himself asking if anyone in the room was going to call on a man present to step up and take on these safety related duties, or where they "going to keep dancing around it."
The local resident Miller was singling out is a man who has served our nation as a highly dedicated member of the United States Navy for more than 20 years, most all of which was as a Navy SEAL: Frank Hoagland.
Hoagland's retirement from the Navy's SEAL Teams and a subsequent medical discharge from the Navy was prompted by having sustained irreparable damage to his sinus cavities during high altitude parachute operations. His career as a Navy SEAL included membership on several specific teams, one of which was SEAL Team FOUR.
It also included other SEAL Team assignments.
At the time of his retirement, Hoagland's rank was that of a Senior Chief Petty Officer.
Hoagland's professional life as a Navy SEAL makes him undeniably one of the foremost experts in our nation when it comes to assessing safety conditions, possible concerns and developing a series of possible solutions where others see none within reasonable reach.
Following his distinguished military career, Hoagland stepped quickly into contributing as a civilian. His commitments at this time saw him take on exceptional global tasks as a government contractor and duties such as membership in personal protective details and direct action teams.
He opened his local business entity "S.T.A.R.T." in 2005.
The focus of the business has been to provide a wide variety of specialized services and capabilities to national security and law enforcement entities, as well as private sector clients. Hoagland describes his firm, START, as a registered Ohio-based Service Connected Disabled Veteran Owned Company.
All members of the Buckeye Local School District Board of Education voted to approve securing Hoagland's services immediately in an effort to begin an appropriate assessment of the district's current resources and how they can best be structured or deployed in advance of the coming school year in an effort to initiate security improvements in the district's day to day operations.
Hoagland wasted no time when it came to letting the board know his position of complete support for keeping a Jefferson County Sheriff's Department Deputy on staff as a full-time resource officer for the district, and that he very much supports having a cruiser easily seen by the public on the grounds of a local school.
Small excerpts of his professional resume describe Hoagland as having had 28 years of experience in the world of clandestine operations, and notes he maintains the highest level of security clearance and access.
Among his lengthy list of professional, military, and civilian responsibilities are the fact he was tapped through START to provide highly specialized training in firearms tactics and close quarters combat techniques to what was then the newly founded entity called Federal Air Marshals.
He was handpicked to develop and administer courses of instruction for the U.S. Department of State Crisis Response Team and the U.S. Navy's Maritime Mission Vessel Boarding Search and Seizure Mission, which is just one of his many and varied professional and personal assignments and pursuits.
Loccisano can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.