The Security Industry Association (SIA) named Guy Grace, Director of Security and Emergency Planning for Littleton Public Schools, as the 2018 recipient of the SIA Insightful Practitioner Award. The award recognizes excellence in promoting the implementation of innovative security solutions. Grace created and assisted with developing many security-related projects, protocols and practices used today for school safety in both LPS and other school districts around the country. He is the first school safety official to be honored with this award.
Grace leads a 12-person district security department that manages the LPS security network and monitors and maintains the district’s unified security system. With the safety of LPS students as its number one priority, his team oversees a framework that includes access control systems, video management systems, audio surveillance, duress and mass notification systems. This district-wide networked security system (including fire and HVAC controls) is monitored twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week at the district’s Education Services Center (ESC) security office.
“I am humbled to receive this recognition from SIA, which is made possible in large part by my PASS colleagues and others in the security industry,” said Grace. “I’m honored to be part of an industry that works to protect the most vulnerable in our communities, including our children and loved ones in schools. The award is a symbol of the hard work that we have done to improve security in our schools across the nation. The security challenges that schools and other end users face are even more complex than they were when I started in school safety 30 years ago, and I am grateful for a security industry that is helping us with these challenges.”
Grace was instrumental in forming the Partner Alliance for Safer Schools – PASS – which developed the Safety and Security Guidelines for K-12 Schools. These guidelines provide administrators and their solutions providers with a tiered approach to schools safety, based on individual needs, nationwide best-practices and effective use of available resources. Earlier this year, Grace was selected by his alliance colleagues to serve as PASS Chairman. Under his leadership, the guidelines were overhauled and will be released on a new PASS website on December 7, 2018.
Grace is a recipient of many national and security industry awards, a regular speaker at school safety trade conferences and a frequent security commentator for various trade magazines and media outlets. In addition to chairing PASS’ Steering Committee, he works with SIA on press releases and blog posts on school security and spoke at the International Security Conference West in 2017 about how LPS created a comprehensive physical security information management system across 28 buildings for more than 15,000 students and staff.
According to Grace, while the technology helps keep schools safe, it’s the human element - building relationships with students, staff, families and community members - that makes all of the difference. “The focus has to be on the holistic unification in the broad sense of safety and mental health, recognizing when kids and families need help and then providing that assistance. Mental health interventions and support go hand in hand with safety. You cannot have one without the other.”
“Our nation’s public schools are critical to shaping young minds and developing the next generation of leaders, and protecting students, faculty and staff in these schools requires the involvement of a variety of stakeholders,” said SIA CEO Don Erickson. “SIA applauds Guy for his extensive work on school security – both within and beyond his district – and his collaboration with other security industry and association partners on this important issue.”