Mike Matranga is the Executive Director of Security and School Safety for the Texas City Independent School District (ISD), a public school district based in Texas City, Texas, serving 9,000 students.
Though there are many things he is proud of in his career, Matranga is most proud of developing the safety and security protocols at Texas City ISD. “I was hired fresh off the heels of the Parkland and Santa Fe Shootings, which I believe were the pivotal point in our society where the people of this great country started to rally together and demand answers, accountability and action, not only from their school officials, but our elected officials as well,” he notes.
“Thankfully, at Texas City ISD, Superintendent Dr. Rodney Cavness had the foresight to know education and security are separate and should always be constructed and applied by professionals in their respective fields. Though we need to understand the needs of educators and adapt to their environment when applying security tactics, techniques or procedures, they too should understand and value what we as security practitioners bring to the table.”
As a result, Matranga has forged a new path for school security, taking things further than any other Texas school district to mitigate security threats. Matranga and the security team have increased the ability to identify students or staff who may be in crisis; deployed threat assessment/CARE teams, based upon the National Threat Assessment Centers' guidelines; trained staff in tourniquet application; built an entire security computer-based training; and designed a robust access control system. In addition to installing a mass notification system, Matranga installed a camera system using analytics and a biometric facial recognition system to use proactively.
“Of all the measures and initiatives we implemented, the absolute most important thing we have is our staff, who have the ability to make real change which no camera system will provide,” he says. “Simply teaching our staff how to identify pre-attack behavior, self-harm behavior and a person in crisis will always be what is most important. Secondly, having the resources and courage to intervene once those things are identified will keep individuals off the path to violence. We must never discredit the human element.”
Previously, Matranga served as a Special Agent with the U.S. Secret Service. He is the Owner and CEO of M6 Global Defense Group.
He says, “The law enforcement and security professions are among two of the most rewarding careers a service-minded person can enter. However, those who choose this path must understand by doing so, they accept being held to a higher standard. Their values, morals and ethics are what separate them from the rest of the civilian population; therefore, they must always lead. However, leading and being held to a higher standard does not mean being a doormat for those who would choose to weaponize another’s commitment to being a public servant by thinking one should not have a voice because they wear a uniform. We must stand tall, be proud, always seek justice, righteousness, be unbiased, exercise fairness, and remember we must be the refuge others seek but can’t find in themselves. At times in your life and career you’ll be given a choice to be heard or be silent. Be the voice for coworkers who don’t have the courage to speak up. That’s what leaders do, lead!”