By Celine Macura
School Security Guard William Lee arrives to school each morning at 7:00 a.m., a time when most students are either still sleeping or just beginning to wake up. He starts his day by reviewing the monitors connected to the video cameras surrounding the building. Lee unlocks the doors and makes his way back to the front desk by 7:35 a.m. to greet students with a smile as they walk through South’s doors. While Lee, who started his role as South’s Security Guard in September, may be fairly new to South’s front desk, he certainly is not new to security and law enforcement.
When Lee was searching for a job as a young man, he discovered that the New York Police Department (NYPD) was in search of prospective employees. Lee sent in an application and soon after began what would become a 20-year-long career in law enforcement. After only eight-and-a-half years on the force, Lee was promoted from patrol officer to detective; he joined the Crime Scene Unit, which became his office for the next ten years. His new job description took him on sight to a variety of crimes. “It was a lot of fun and very interesting work,” said Lee, reflecting back on the days he spent working in New York City.
After he retired from the police department, Lee worked as a full time real estate appraiser and part-time security guard. Due to the 2008 housing market crash, Lee left his job in real estate and has been working full-time as a security guard since 2013. He’s worked for Parkville Kindergarten, the GNPS Adult Learning Center, the S.E.A.L. program, and a few companies located in New York City. He then made his way to the Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point but ultimately settled upon a post at Great Neck South High School.
Fortunately for Mr. Lee, moving to South has been a swift transition. He said the students and staff have been very welcoming and described the school as having “very nice people” and “well behaved teenagers.” He said the school presents “very few problems in terms of security or anything else.”
Students feel secure knowing there’s someone looking out for the school’s safety. Adding a professional degree in law enforcement behind the security desk only adds to students’ sense of reassured security.