It’s late. No one is inside any buildings. Campus is closed. Everything is locked up for the night, notably your phone, perched on a desk inside a classroom that you forgot to grab before leaving the room. While rubbing your eyes of the most unfathomable mistake made during fifth period, suddenly a light flashes before your eyes. Cruising by is Campus Security Guard Bob Biella, KO’s pride campus protector since 2013. You are safe from a night of worrying and you are eternally grateful for Mr. Biella.
A typical afternoon for Mr. Biella entails coming to work at 2:30 p.m., obtaining the schedule for the afternoon and ensuring the correct doors are unlocked for event purposes or afternoon games. He then patrols campus at 3:00 until he is called upon at the bus stop to enforces no illegal parent parking. From around 4:00 to 5:00, he patrols campus and confirms that all the middle school windows and doors on the lower floors are locked. Once finished, he checks in with the cleaning company staff. At 6:00, Mr. Biella confirms that all the buildings are locked besides the buildings open for that particular night. Around 8:15 to around 9:20, he makes sure all doors are closed, all lights are off, and that the cleaning company members left. He then ensures at 9:30 that everyone is off campus, followed by patrolling campus from 10:00 until 10:30. After campus is secure, he heads home to his cat, Candy at 11:00 p.m..
Mr. Biella’s role encompasses operating maintenance and security. He serves as an advisor and host at times as well. Mr. Biella’s multifaceted job requires him to check the roofs for leaks, burgling system for malfunctions, and parking lot for any suspicious activity. He often communicates with the Head of School to make sure kids get safely picked up if any emergency situations arise, by notifying students in building when they must evacuate or moving traffic out of the way for maintenance. “I’ve caught pipes bursting because of ice in the winter and I checked out that fire a few weeks ago,” he said. “All the maintenance men were gone by that point, so I got a call. When I went to check the room where they thought the smell of smoke was coming from, I felt the door and it wasn’t hot, so I opened it and there was smoke everywhere I couldn’t see.”
There are definitely highlights to patrolling KO. “I think the best part of the job is pretty much when I get to the school buses at the end of the afternoon,” he said. “You just see what’s being going on in America for hundreds of years and will be going on for the next hundred years, kids getting onto the bus.” An extra perk is being at a school and problem-solving each day. “I’m in a learning environment,” he said. “Even though I’m 57 going on 58, I can still learn something.” Despite this, every job has challenges, and guiding parking for big events is one for Mr. Beilla. Awareness is another. “It’s a matter of being vigilant and persistent,” he said.
Prior to working at KO, Mr. Biella served four years active duty in the Air Force and was a member of the National Guard for 25 years. After working at such a high pressure job, Mr. Biella said he is happy to work in contract security. His first job as a guard was at a factory in Meridian, CT where he witnessed violations of EPA pollutants and protected the factory from breaking and enterings. He then worked at Northeast Utilities. If Mr. Biella was not a security guard, he said he would love to work in real estate as he said he feels energized on homes and communities.
During the week, Mr. Biella spends time maintaining his house and assisting his father. When he used to be able to get away, Mr. Biella often vacationed at several locations from West Point, NY and Niagara Falls to Vermont and Maine. While visiting the Pocono Mountains, PA, the Rocky Mountains, NC, or the White Mountain, NH, Mr. Beilla used to hike. While growing up in Wethersfield, CT, Mr. Biella passed by the back of KO three times a week, but never knew what the building was. While now knowing what KO is, unfortunately, we won’t have Mr. Biella’s around for much longer, as he plans to move down south next year.
Whenever Mr. Biella is on campus, he wants to be a helping hand. If you are ever stuck at KO because your battery does not start, just call for campus security and Mr. Biella will be able to jump start your car.
“I try to pretty much give the image that I’m here for support and not enforcement,” he said. “Whatever their [students] needs are, they can come to me.”