To serve and protect

Former police officer Kenny Maier takes on a new job of being the security guard at the Freshman Campus


Vanessa Perez

Though this year is Kenny Maier’s first year as a security guard, he brings years of law enforcement experience to the job, including almost three decades with the Vernon Hills Police Department.

Grace Hunt, Contributing Writer

Kenny Maier sits behind his desk interrogating the student who stole the very chair he sits in. Maier knows this student is guilty, but asks the student anyways. The student denies it and stays quiet. All of Maier’s experience as a cop has prepared him for this moment. To protect and to keep everyone in line at the Freshman Campus. 

MCHS Freshman Campus security guard Kenny Maier was a police officer in Vernon Hills for 28 years. For a third of his career, he worked in investigations, working between 50-100 homicides. Now Maier has stepped into a new job as the security guard at the MCHS Freshman Campus. Within the first few months of working as a security guard, Marier had faced new challenges. 

Maier explains these challenges, “The soap has been stolen out of the bathrooms, the girls bathrooms have been vandalized with feminine products, somebody ripped off the paper towel dispenser from the boys locker room.” 

Maier has had to deal with “Devious Licks” which is a TikTok trend that challenges students to perform acts of vandalism and theft at school. This recent trend upsets Maier. He says, “Someone stole a chair, and it upset me, because it was my chair.”

Maier deals with these incidents by reporting them to Associate Principal Kyle Hobson or the Dean Pete Byrne.

Although Maier has had new challenges come up, he believes his new job to be relatively simple. Maier says, “It’s not really hard. It’s pretty simple for the most part, you guys are good, but there’s a lot of nonsense going on, you guys all know about. It’s just following up on that stuff.” 

Maier’s previous career has prepared him to be a security guard. He worked in investigation and has experience doing the same things he does now. 

“I do a lot of investigating. It’s the same thing that I did before and I know how to do it,” 

Maier has been able to bring in his skill set and positively impact the security team at the Freshman Campus. Many of the skills he has developed in his 28 years of being a police officer are benefiting him now.

“So all my years experience I know you’re guilty just when you get up and you grab your stuff and walk out of the room.” Maier says, “Just by the racing of your heart and your actions, none, none of you guys in this school are hardened criminals, and I hope to guide you to never become that. But you can tell right away. I know, understand this when me or Dave asked you guys a question, we already know the answer to that question, when the Dean asked you a question he already knows the answer. So there’s no point lying because you’re just making it worse for yourself.”

Freshman Campus security guard Dave Wilson says Maier has greatly impacted the security team within these first few months of school. 

“Kenny’s a great guy. He’s got great hair, by the way. I’ve been trying to emulate that he won’t give me the secret of what mousse he uses.” Wilson says.

Maier and Wilson have both worked as police officers. Wilson may put his experience to use by investigating Maier’s “great hair” routine, but they also have used their skills in other ways in their security job. Maier says, “I’m actually showing Dave how to do some of this stuff too.”

“Because we’ve had so many experiences we don’t sweat over the little things, we look at the big picture.” Wilson says, “He’s got lots of experience and is a really good worker. We all bring different tools to the game, you know, but I know it’s a joy to come to work every day. So I guess that’s a reflection on him too.” Wilson says about Maier. 

Freshman campus security guards have to be at school at 6:15am. Wilson expresses how even with this undesirable circumstance, he enjoys coming to work every day. Maier agrees.

“I think you’re all good kids, just sometimes you make mistakes.” Maier says, “As long as you own up for your mistakes, it’s not that difficult.” 

Maier retired from being a police officer to become a high school security guard; a job that still proves to be rewarding as he gets to see students grow into adults and help them along the way.

Maier has taken on a big shift in his career. Going from a police officer to a security guard is a big adjustment, but has found a way to deal with everything that’s been thrown at him. He’s still able to apply his past career and detective skills to keep kids under control and safe at MCHS Freshman Campus.