Ethan Winkler ’17
At the tone of a bell, a flood of people speed through the hallways and courtyards.
With every man for himself, all the students have one thing on their mind: lunch.
As they approach the food line, they are brought to a screeching halt and organized into three lines.
What immovable force is able to stop these hungry high schoolers?
It’s none other than Campus Security Director Mr. John Buchanan.
As a former patrol officer for the Phoenix Police Department, this isn’t the first time he’s had to deal with people speeding.
But his work for the police department doesn’t stop at traffic tickets. Over 32 years, he has also been a motorcycle officer and a detective sergeant who started the first domestic violence detective squad for the department.
With that experience and the 10 years working at Brophy, he uses his past skills to corral the young men and keep them in order.
But managing the lunch line is not the only thing that “Mr. B” does around campus.
Under the management of the Dean’s Office, he plays a crucial role in campus security.
“My main responsibility is to keep the campus safe and free from any intruders,” Mr. Buchanan said. “We always are looking for and finding a better way to keep students safe here.”
In order to achieve this, his duties include regulating the parking and transportation around campus, watching over video surveillance both on and off of school hours, constantly patrolling the campus during the school day and even attending sports events after school hours.
Dean Mr. Pat Higgins said that all of this work does not go unnoticed.
“I appreciate everything that he does,” Mr. Higgins said. “He’s here quite a bit on the weekends and even summer during off-hours in July… he’s great to work with.”
While spending all of this time on campus, Mr. Buchanan is noticed by many students and has formed a relationship with the student body.
One student that has grown close to him is Willie Gerkensmeyer ’17.
“On a weekly basis, I’d say I see him at least once a day, maybe even twice,” Gerkensmeyer said. “He is amazing, friendly and one of the nicest guys to talk to.”
Jack Vanderwey ’17 also said he believes that Mr. Buchanan is very friendly and has gained trust from many of the students he protects.
“He’s the kind of guy that you would want to go at bat with,” Vanderway said. “He’s someone you can trust and someone you would want to hang out on the weekends with.”
While Mr. Higgins agrees with this, he also thinks Mr. Buchanan does not stray away from staying professional.
“There’s a fine line between being too friendly and too professional, but he walks that line very well,” Mr. Higgins said.
Mr. Buchanan himself tries to keep an “adult” relationship with the high schoolers on campus.
“I don’t look at myself as being over or under [the students],” Mr. Buchanan said. “I look at myself as a person here to help you, guide you, and keep you on track.”
He considers his interactions with the students to be a wonderful part of his job.
“My favorite part is working with the Brophy community and the kids,” Mr. Buchanan said. “It’s what keeps me here.”