Broward Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie introduced the district's new security chief, Brian Katz, who was hired following recommendations from The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission.
"As father of a child who has been in the Broward School District for 10 years, as volunteer in those schools and as a security professional, I understand the gravity of being the first person to hold this critical role," said Katz.
He is currently the CEO of Lighthouse Global Solutions, a security consulting group, and has worked in security for Google and the State Department.
The Broward School Board voted 7 to 1 to hire Katz for the unprecedented position last month. The one negative vote came from board member Lori Alhadeff, the mother of a student killed in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting. She says the district failed to interview other qualified candidates.
Katz' official job title is Chief of Safety, Security and Emergency Preparedness, which means he will oversee emergency preparations and the placement of school resource officers with the Broward Sheriff's Office and other local law enforcement agencies.
"What we are taking is a layered approach, where we are not reliant on any single person, because even if we have four police officers in that particular thing, it’s still a large space that has a lot of to cover. So what we need is something where we have intertwined security protocols that are in place that include physical barriers technology, personnel, staff, all of those elements," he said.
Last week, the district introduced a new threat assessment policy and before that, they initiated two new emergency policies, including "safer spaces" and a new code red protocol.
Katz is a graduate of South Broward High School and the University of Miami and says it was her daughter who showed him the job description and encouraged him to take on the responsibility of security chief.
"My family is here, my roots are here, my story is here. This is my community," he said.