By Bella Realmuto ‘22
As tired students walk down the freshman hall in the early morning, Pat McIntosh and Imtiaz Stephen are two of the first adults that students see. The students usually see or have a quick conversation with Mr. McIntosh and Mr. Stephen in the halls at lunch or during the passing period. As the students go about their busy day, the security officers have a full day too.
There is not a “typical day” for the security officers who keep all the students safe on a daily basis. They arrive before most of the students, once the students start to flow in and the traffic coming into the girls division becomes more congested. Mr. McIntosh and Mr. Stephen put on their yellow vests and head out for traffic control. Throughout the day they are trying to make themselves visible for the students. The best part of their job is interacting with the students and protecting them. Their day could include anything from helping a kid find their car, fixing a tire, or even changing a car battery. Each of our security guards has their own story of how they got to Regis Jesuit and what has helped them along the way.
Imtiaz Stephen is the head of security here at Regis Jesuit. He has been working here since September of 2016 and has loved every year. This job was brought to him by his brother giving him a call and convincing him to come back from his contracting job over seas. He is able to bring his skills and knowledge to make this a safer place. This is not just a job for him but also a mission.
While working in law enforcement, Mr. Stephen witnessed the aftermath of school violence and it has changed him as a person. He started to specializing and wanting to become a school resource officer.
As of last December, there had been 94 school shooting incidents across the Unites States in 2018. The highest it has been. Breaking the previous high of 59 in 2006.
“The thing that drives me crazy is that somebody goes and targets innocent victims because of either their political, religious agenda, or I’m just having a bad day and I can’t deal. That’s what drives me,” said Mr. Stephen
As Mr. Stephen recalled all of his memories from law enforcement, there are three times that he considers best moments. One of them was Christmas Eve night when everyone on patrol was over at his mother’s house. After she had made a huge Christmas Eve, meal they got a call that there was a person unconscious. It was maybe two miles from where he was so he jumped into the car and drove over. When he arrived at the scene there was an elderly couple and the husband had a heart attack and had no pulse. Mr. Stephen started CPR, he continued compression and oxygen when the paramedics came and all the way to the hospital. The man survived and now Christmas Eve would not be destroyed for the couple due to the loss of her husband.
Mr. McIntosh adds, “One thing all of us have in common is that all three of us have saved somebody’s life. Not everyone can say that they have performed CPR and saved someone’s life.”
Pat McIntosh is one of Regis Jesuit’s security specialists who has been working here for four to five years. He had been working at another high school doing campus security and there was an opening at Regis Jesuit so he applied and got the job. His wife also works here.
Mr. McIntosh was formerly in education. He was a teacher, principal, and a central office administrator; he retired from all of that in 2006. Not wanting to be one who sits around doing nothing during retirement, he still wanted to make a difference. Having relationships with all the students is the best part of his job. From all his time teaching wherever he goes he runs into former students. He has run in to students in random airports across the country or up at the pool in Glenwood Springs.
Mr. McIntosh is committed to school safety for one major reason: his daughter was at Columbine during the shooting. She survived but suffered from a great deal of survivors guilt. Everyday she would eat lunch in the library, where there were many kids killed, if the circumstances would have been slightly different, she would have ended up in the library that day.
In the Columbine shooting there where 13 deaths. Twelve students and one teacher where killed. “I had this is my mission to make sure that doesn’t happen again,” said Mr. McIntosh.
The day of Columbine Mr. McIntosh was at a teacher recruiting fair in Greeley when he received a call from his secretary that would make anyone’s stomach drop. “Pat, I don’t have a whole lot of information yet but I’m getting a report that there was a shooting at Columbine.” Mr. McIntosh remembers the words that would change his family’s life. Not much latter as he was receiving more information about the incident, he left the fair in order to get back to his daughter. In the car, the radio detailed the horror of the incident. Mr. McIntosh drove down I-25 at 90 miles per hour with one goal in mind: make sure his daughter was safe. As he approached the high school, he could see all of the SWAT helicopters above and hear the sirens blaring. There was a brief moment where he couldn’t find his daughter.
“For lack of a better term the hell that she went through and we went through as a family changed me so that I never want to see kids or parents go through that kind of stuff again,” Mr. McIntosh says to explain why he does this for the students.
Frank Dunnington is another one of Regis Jesuit’s security specialist. He has been working here for 5 years. Prior to working at Regis Jesuit, he was a firefighter responding to fires and accidents. Having to see kids hurt pulls on his heart strings. He has a son who went through high school at Regis Jesuit, and even after his son graduated he is still working here because he enjoys what he is doing.
Mr. Dunnington has the ability to interact with the students and, being a trauma expert, he is able to pass his knowledge on to his fellow coworkers. Mr. Stephen explains how he was a guarded person when he first met him but as the years went on he has opened up and loves all of the work he does.
According to Mr. Stephen, Regis Jesuit is a special place. “I was always neutral and guarded. As a police officer, you deal with 10% of the population 99% of the time so you see the worst in people. Coming here to Regis, just some of the kindness and decency has displayed towards me and has changed how I look at things.”
If you are ever walking down the halls of Regis Jesuit, make sure that you stop and say hello to the security officers who have dedicated all their effort in order to keep the students safe.