Loy Norrix’s New Security Brings Change to Handling Student Behavior

This year a new member was added to the Loy Norrix security staff. This addition to the school seems to have brought a new way to handle student behavior and activity in the hallways. Usually you would expect a misbehaving student to be taken out of class by security and sent directly to a detention room. However, recently hired Officer Vicki Codine, has a different way to handle this kind of behavior.

“I’ve only given out one referral since I’ve been here. If I see a student skipping in the hallway, I believe that a hug will do more for them than a referral. It’s all about positivity, that’s what gives you motivation,” Officer Codine said.

Officer Codine stands guard in the halls. She is displaying a quote that says "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Positive beats negative."
Officer Codine stands guard in the halls. She is displaying a quote that says “The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Positive beats negative.”                                 Photo Credit: Caitlin Commissais

Once a new guard is hired, the first thing they do is go through a Crisis Protection Institute (CPI) training, given by the administration, which teaches them techniques on how to deal with combative students. Then they go through the general working orders of campus safety, go over a list of things that they are required to do, and sign off on it.

“We try to hire guards that have experience on dealing with younger kids, and if they don’t have that experience, we try to help them develop those skills,” Officer Williams said, who is in charge of training the new staff.

Codine has been working in security since 1996. Before coming to Norrix, she was a security guard at Kellogg Community College. She just moved back to Kalamazoo from Tampa, Florida to assist her daughter, a student at KVCC, and her son, a student at Western.

“It was hard for me when I retired from the police department to come and start dealing with kids because I was used to doing things my way, or I was going to take them to jail, and you really can’t do that with kids. If you don’t care about the students then you probably shouldn’t have this job,” Williams said.

Not only does security work on weekdays but they are also needed for school events and sports on the weekends. Codine signed up for security at all of the upcoming basketball games; she played basketball all throughout high school and still enjoys the sport.

Being a security guard can change the way others view you. There are many stereotypes portrayed in movies and books about security.

“The biggest struggle of being a security guard is how other people view you. When you watch movies they always make security look like the bad guys. If you are going to go in to security then you definitely have to like people,” Codine Continued, “You will experience kids from nice to rude and you have to treat them kindly even if they are rude to you. When you are dealing with students like that, you don’t want to push them because you don’t know what is going on in their life. My job is mainly to make sure everyone is safe and where they need to be.”

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