During Monday night’s Board of Trustees meeting, James Brown, Jr. was approved to become the district’s new Director of Safety and Security. He will begin his duties February 4.

In his new role with Rock Hill Schools, he will build upon the district’s foundation of robust safety, security, and emergency management plans, and work to continue to develop and oversee training and preparedness programs. Over the past year, Rock Hill Schools has expanded and emphasized safety and security through a collaboration with local law enforcement agencies and the addition of private security for elementary school campuses. Other improvements include the district’s “see something, say something” tip reporting program, random weapon screening, and enhanced event security including a clear bag policy and walk-through metal detection.

Brown joins Rock Hill Schools after a decorated career serving in emergency management and safety operations positions in the Atlanta area. Most recently, he worked in the emergency operations center at the busiest airport in the world, Hartfield-Jackson International Airport. There, he provided strategic direction for the emergency operations center and oversaw daily operations.

He also comes with a wealth of experience after working in the Dekalb County School District, which is Georgia’s third largest district with more than 102,000 students and 140 schools, for 17 years. His responsibilities included providing emergency management, security and compliance for 83 elementary schools, 20 middle schools, 22 high schools, and 18 centers. In his work, he collaborated regularly with internal and external public safety agencies to plan and coordinate standard response protocols to critical incidents. Brown was active in working with teachers, parents, and students to resolve and respond to issues.

He is a Certified Emergency Manager (CEM) and holds additional credentials through the National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO) and the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA). Brown has completed training in the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and holds degrees from Eastern Kentucky University and Grambling State University. Additionally, he has severed as a pastor for 13 years in Decatur, Ga.