Allegations of a School Board Member’s Ties to School Safety and Security Firm Hired by the District Investigated

Allegations of School Board Member’s Ties to School Safety and Security Firm Hired by the District Investigated

More allegations were made at a recent Suffern Central School District meeting and have subsequently shown up on social media.

Claims were made during the public session at the Board meeting held on April 16th that implied that there might be an improper relationship between a security company that conducted training for the District and SCSD Board Vice President Angus McKenzie.

During that meeting, the former SCSD Board President claimed “There is also a security company… The partner in the security company is an ex-partner of Angus McKenzie’s.  I don’t know if that was disclosed at the meeting.” 

Some on social media claim that Board President Amany Dgheim confirms this.  If you listen closely to the audio of the YouTube video, it does sound as if Board President Dgheim says “ex-partner”.

At last night’s Suffern Central School Board meeting, Board Vice President Angus McKenzie made a statement saying that he has received no payment from Armored One. He has no affiliation with the company and has never received payment from them. He’s never had an issue with corruption in more than 20 years in the NYPD.

When we posted this on social media, local residents chimed in adamantly claiming that there was still a connection and that McKenzie was partners with someone at the security firm. Airmont resident Lance Weinstein texted the phone number of the alleged employee to me to follow up on the accusation.

When I called, there was a female’s voice on the message.  I received a call back and spoke with a man who identified himself as ‘Chris’.  Chris was formerly employed by the NYPD in narcotics, was in the same building but said that he was never a former partner of Angus McKenzie.

We placed a call to the security company Armoured One, a highly regarded firm that focuses on school security and training.

Angus McKenzie’s alleged former partner Jim Emery immediately returned the call, listened to the allegations and responded with the following statement:

“I do not own Armoured One, I have never owned Armoured One.  I have worked for them for the past three months.”

Prior to that, Mr. Emery worked as a consultant for the company for approximately four months.

“I am a territory sales manager in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.  I sit on a school board in Minisink Valley.  I was at the NYSSBA Conference which is the school board conference in New York City where I ran into Angus McKenzie for the first time since August of 2011.  This was in the fall of 2018.  While I was there, I met the company Armoured One. I was walking through the expo and I met the owner of Armoured One, I loved what they were doing and I wanted to get them into my school. As time went on I started talking to the owners and they found out what my background was and they offered me a position with their company.  I took that position.  Prior to me taking that position, Suffern (SCSD) reached out to our training director and requested information on Armoured One. It was after I was hired that I found out that Suffern was a customer of Armoured One and I knew, because I met him at the conference, that Angus was on that board so I called and said ‘Hey, your school board is doing work with my company.’ Whomever is running for the board or saying that I owned the company or saying that I was partners with Angus McKenzie or there is some scandal couldn’t be further from the truth.

The fact of the matter is that a Level One training which is one of the things that Armoured One offers, was agreed to with Suffern Schools prior to me ever being an employee of Armoured One.”

McKenzie also worked a different shift than ‘Chris’ and Emery.

Level 1 Training also called “Mindset of a Survivor” is a 3 hour presentation that is designed to empower staff members and give them the confidence to effectively respond to an active shooter incident. This training was conducted for staff members at Suffern High School on March 22nd.

Armored One has responded to and advised on incidents including the Parkland shooting and are very active in formulating school safety plans.

From their website: Armored One is dedicated to one mission, “making schools, colleges, and universities safer against major attacks and shootings.” We are a SWAT Team driven company, which studies the history of attacks on schools, while implementing new products, training, preparedness plans and assessments to help school administration to be proactive against attacks.

Armored One solely focuses on school security, which means we understand the importance of having a secure learning environment without looking like a prison. All of our products, training, assessments, and preparedness plans, are completely customized to each individual school, college, or universities.


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