To quell parents’ and students’ fears about the Valley Stream Central High School District’s security, the Board of Education approved a $77,850 contract with Wisdom Protective Services on Aug. 28 and named Dave Buxbaum the district’s director of security.
“This appointment was made as part of the district’s ongoing, longstanding safety and security plans,” Superintendent Bill Heidenreich said in a statement.
Buxbaum, 49, is a retired New York Police Department detective. As a detective, Buxbaum investigated links with organized crime. He also supervised teams of detectives and information technology engineers.
After he retired from the police department in 2016, Buxbaum worked in armed and unarmed security guard positions for airlines, schools and hotels. “You name it, I’ve kind of done it,” he said.
As the district’s director of security, Buxbaum is contracted through Wisdom, which has provided security services for the district in the past. Its goal is to provide “reliable, consistent and professional individuals who are dedicated to their duties,” according to its website.
Buxbaum’s first priority would be to analyze the security at each of the district’s four schools. “I want to make sure I have a good understanding of what’s going on at each school before I make any changes,” he said.
Some of the things he will look for include ensuring that student identification cards are checked when they re-enter the school from lunch; ensuring that outsiders do not have access to the school buildings while class is in session; and ensuring that the school has trauma kits in case of an emergency. Buxbaum also said he would set up Stop the Bleed trainings, which teach teachers and students how to make a tourniquet, in case of an emergency.
“These are all things that have to be discussed with the superintendent,” he said.
Buxbaum’s main goal is “keeping the students safe.” But he also intends to work to ensure that the schools do not feel like prisons.When a district increases its security protocols, acts of violence sometimes increase, because the students feel like they are perpetrators, he said.
“I’m not here to make it look like Riker’s Island,” Buxbaum said. “That doesn’t work for anyone.”