John has been involved in public safety for more than 27 years and is recognized by the US. Department of Education as a subject matter expert in active shooter preparedness and school safety. John began his career in the military, became a police officer for a short time, and worked for more than a decade as the Sr. Manager of US Investigations and Security for one of the world’s largest corporations. John was involved in the security planning for the 2002 SLC Olympic Games, the 2008 Democratic and Republican National Conventions, and has extensive experience responding to and leading corporate relief efforts during major hurricanes throughout the Gulf Coast.
As the Executive Director of Security and Emergency Management for Jefferson County Schools in Colorado (a District of 86,000 students and almost 13,000 employees that includes Columbine High School and Deer Creek Middle School), John has redefined school safety and active shooter preparedness, and was recognized as the School Security Director of the Year for his leadership and actions during the 2010 Deer Creek Middle School Shooting. In 2012, in the hours following the Aurora Theater shooting, John supported Aurora Schools during the recovery process for students and staff impacted by the mass shooting. Following the Sandy Hook tragedy, John was invited to speak at the White House and shared his model preparedness program. In 2013, he again responded to a tragic shooting at Arapahoe High School, supporting the Reunification efforts for parents and students.
John is often sought out by media and provides security and emergency preparedness/management consultation services for High Ed institutions and K-12 schools around the country.
John has earned Bachelor of Science Degrees in both Criminal Justice and Criminology.
John McDonald’s presentation is direct and includes powerful reminders of the importance of preparedness and the necessity for strong collaborative partnerships between law enforcement and College campuses. John’s presentation demonstrates that “prepared doesn’t mean scared” and is an opportunity to learn the lessons of today and prepare for tomorrow in a College environment.