Niles West’s New Director of Security: Philip Brown


Niles West Director of Security, Philip Brown

By Gia Bexes, Staff Writer

This year, Niles West welcomed a new staff member in the building, the Director of Security Mr. Philip Brown. Brown has a lot of experience working with high school students, as he has worked in schools before. Prior to coming to Niles West, he worked at the Elgin Police Department having many roles, one being a school resource officer (SRO) for seven years.

“I was a juvenile detective for the last part of my career. What brings me to this school is the fact that I had that experience in a high school, I was one of the best SROs,” Brown said.

The role of the Director of Security is a very important one. “Ultimately, if anything happens to a student here, I feel responsible. It falls under my office, its not an easy task. Security and safety falls under so many different aspects. We want kids to feel safe in the hallways, be in a positive learning environment, and its staff feeling safe. My job is that I make sure to do everything to make everyone safe. As much as I smile, at the end of the day if something happens to somebody, I am responsible,” Brown said.

You can find Brown in his office or walking through the hallway. His intent is to be in the hallway, and to be able to interact with many students.

“I’m excited to have Mr. Brown at our school. I really think he’ll make a difference at our school. I can see him as an admin that students can talk to, and it’s great that we can have someone like Mr. Brown around for students,” senior Hita Bharwad said.

When a problem is brought to attention at school, it may be difficult to distinguish. “I can’t go off of one version of events, I need both versions of the events, both sides are important,” Brown said. “In my opinion, the more you look at problems in a holistic way or individual way, this is how you get to solve issues.”

Brown believes that there are many layers of aspects and skill that come with his position. “Sometimes we look at situations and we try to assess just by looking at others and that’s a problem with law enforcement, we are always going to a situation where we think we know and understand the problem,” Brown said.

“He seems like a pretty nice guy. Mr. Brown made sure to go around and see how things were to turn out,” security guard Mr. Campozano said.

There can be difficult situations that come along with the position. “It wasn’t always happy for me, there were lots of struggles being who I am working in environments, my philosophies aren’t the norm, I am a cop and a social worker,” Brown said.

“When I first met Mr. Brown, I thought he was friendly and I was comfortable speaking to him, rather than seeing him as a scary dean/admin,” Bharwad said.

“I can promise you, you will never hear me yell- I just don’t do it anymore,” Brown said. Brown believes that the secret is to whisper to people, if you whisper to people when they are yelling, they will calm down and try to interpret what you’re saying. You always have to go into the situation patiently.

One of Brown’s favorite hobbies is golf. Brown also played football, basketball and baseball in high school, and continued baseball in college. Brown is also a proud soccer dad. He admits that soccer has taken over his life as his son is a very talented athlete. His son can even juggle a soccer ball upwards of 2000 times.

As a former SRO, Brown is familiar with the position and role of an SRO. “The SRO in my opinion is a great position if you get the right person. The School Resource Officer is not in the school policing, that’s not what they do. Unfortunately, there are crimes that can happen in school, but the resource officer is there to provide resources to support the community, he is not a detective,” Brown said.

The more tools you have before you get there, the better outcome you have. This is something that lays out a key factor of Brown’s position.

“At the end of all this, I want to be the right fit for this school and I don’t want to come in and not be myself,” Brown said.