Partnerships will be a huge focus in the strategy of Floyd County Schools’ new chief safety and security officer who has only been in the job for a few weeks but says he is thrilled with the results.
“What we need is teamwork,” Rick Flanigen said.
Upon beginning his role as chief safety and security officer in late January, Flanigen said he visited each of the county’s schools to meet with principals and staff to see what their security needs might be. The principals and staff have shown great interest and dedication he said, asking “How can we do this safer? How can we do this better?”
Flanigen also plans to use his 39 years of law enforcement experience managing risk to help keep the schools safe. After graduating from Shorter in 1980, Flanigen served as a Floyd County police officer for five years. He then became a probation officer for almost 30 years at the Rome U.S. Probation Office (it was the Georgia Probation Office for the first two and a half years) serving as a supervisor for the final 14 years.
After a mandatory retirement from the U.S. Probation Office at age 57, Flanigen was recertified as a peace officer, served with the Floyd County Sheriff’s Office and completed his master’s degree in Public Safety from Columbus State University in 2017.
Flanigen found the job posting on the county schools’ website unexpectedly and applied right away. “I guess they were impressed,” he said.
Developing the human element is important, Flanigen said. “School teachers and staff are our greatest resource and safety.”
“I am just one person, but if I can get everyone on board, then we are going to have an extremely safe and sound environment.”