School Climate & Safety News in Brief

Former Google Leaks Investigator Hired as Broward District’s Security Chief

By Tribune News Service — February 26, 2019 1 min read

The Broward County school board has hired a new security chief whose background includes investigating employees who divulged secrets at Google.

Superintendent Robert Runcie recommended Brian Katz for the newly created position of chief of safety, security, and emergency preparedness.

According to his job description, Katz will oversee emergency preparations, risk management, and school security officers for the Florida district. He will coordinate the placement of school resource officers with the Broward sheriff’s office and local police agencies.

From 2011 to 2017, Katz worked as director of personal protective services at Google, according to his résumé. During that time, he was head of leak investigations, tracing how company information made its way to the public.

He will join a school district known for its secrecy. The South Florida Sun Sentinel has reported how the district made a persistent effort to keep people from finding out what went wrong in the wake of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre, which killed 17 people last February.

For months, the district delayed or withheld records, refused to publicly assess the role of employees, spread misinformation, and even sought to jail reporters who published the truth.

One of the first—and few—investigations the school district launched was into who leaked academic records of the gunman.

But Katz said he doesn’t expect the job he would be doing to focus on leak investigations. He said he doesn’t see that need at the school district.

He said the district was more interested in his work in physical security, including working from 2004 to 2010 as a special agent for the U.S. Department of State, Diplomatic Security Service division.

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A version of this article appeared in the February 27, 2019 edition of Education Week as Former Google Leaks Investigator Hired as Broward District’s Security Chief

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