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Harford County Public Schools names new security chief

Harford County Public Schools names new security chief
The Board of Education of Harford County has named Donoven Brooks Coordinator of Safety and Security for Harford County Public Schools, effective Jan. 2, to fill the vacancy that will be left by the year-end retirement of Robert Benedetto. (Harford County Public Schools)

The Board of Education of Harford County has named Donoven Brooks Coordinator of Safety and Security for Harford County Public Schools, effective Jan. 2, to fill the vacancy left by the year-end retirement of Robert Benedetto.

Brooks is a graduate of Baltimore City Community College with an associate degree of applied science in law enforcement. He earned a bachelor of science degree in management and leadership and a master of science in public safety management, both from Johns Hopkins University, in 2011 and 2012, respectively.

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Brooks has more than 20 years of experience in school safety leadership roles.

His career began in the U.S. Air Force, where he served both domestically and internationally from 1988 to 1997. In the Air Force, Brooks supervised patrolmen and investigators and served on the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) International Police Task Force.

In 1997, he joined the Baltimore City School Police Force as a patrol supervisor and was later promoted to Area 2 commander, responsible for 18 police officers and the safety of 33 schools.

Brooks achieved several notable accomplishments in his capacity with the Baltimore City School Police Force, among them the Silver Star Award for bravery during a shots fired, officer down call and assisting in the apprehension of the armed suspect. He received the Chief of Police Commendation Medal for disarming a suspect in possession of a loaded firearm in a school building.

He was appointed by the chief of School Police to research and develop the departmental General Orders Manual reflecting school policies and regulations.

Brooks remained with Baltimore City for 20 years. In addition, from 2011 to 2013, concurrent with his Baltimore City School Force position, Brooks served part-time as chief of police for the Fairmount Heights Police Department in Prince George’s County.

“We are delighted to welcome Mr. Donoven Brooks to our Harford County family,” Harford Superintendent of Schools Barbara P. Canavan said in a statement. “The depth and breadth of his expertise in school security and his experiences in the public sector will definitely fortify and enhance the safety and security of our system.”

Throughout his career, Brooks has participated in an array of professional development. He is a graduate of the Chief Executive Leadership Course, Southern Police Institute in Louisville, KY and of the Law Enforcement Executive Development School from the FBI Regional Command College in Milwaukee, WI.

He is a certified Law Enforcement Officer and Instructor and Police and Civilian Firearms Instructor from the Maryland Police Training Commission and a Train the Trainer Instructor from the Crisis Prevention Institute. He has received National Association of School Resource Officer Management and Supervisory Certification.

Brooks is an active member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #5 Maryland. He has been a member of the Police Executive Research Forum and is a former elected member of the 45th Legislative District Baltimore City Democratic State Central Committee, serving as chair of public safety.

He has been a mentor, athletic coach, and chaperon to students to help extend their strategies for success beyond graduation. He is highly committed to the mission of public safety and improving the quality of life for students and staff of the school system through effective integration of restorative practices and school violence prevention strategies.

“My prior experience has given me a deep understanding that school police officers and school safety professionals are not only enforcers of rules and law, they are also partners in education and stakeholders in the social development of young people in both our schools and neighborhoods,” Brooks said in a statement. “Building collaborative relationships with internal and external partners, to include students, parents, administrators, and community leaders, has vastly contributed to my career and success as a leader.”

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