Alejandro Quintero: Walking with a Purpose

Colin Nguyen, Staff Writer

Mr. Alejandro Quintero checks an exterior door to ensure it latches and locks properly. He checks all exterior doors multiple times each day. (Photo by Caroline Schlieker)

As the tardy bell rings, Alejandro Quintero paces through the halls, ensuring all doors are locked to keep the students safe. Walking 11 miles a day he stays fit and vigilant to ensure the school is secure.

Because of the shooting last year at Timberview High School, all Mansfield ISD schools now have Campus Safety Specialists. Although Mr. Quintero is a retired special agent, Mr. Quintero’s family is involved with the school system. His wife works as a school psychologist, his daughter teaches and his granddaughter just started first grade. 

“I have heard of a lot of school shootings, but this recent one that happened here in Texas, Robb Elementary, that one really hit me at my core because it was close to home,” Mr. Quintero said. “Maybe there’s something [prior law enforcement] can do to close the gap.”

Starting with the Internal Revenue Service, Mr. Quintero worked in the Criminal Investigation Division for a few years. He eventually moved up to the Office of the Inspector General for USDA. Mr. Quintero spent his last 22 years as a special agent becoming an Assistant Special Agent in Charge, making him responsible for criminal investigations for states such as Washington, Oregon, Northern California, Northern Nevada and the Pacific Islands. He retired after 32 years of service.

“I think that creating this position was a step in the right direction,” Mr.Quintero said. “So I would hope that other schools are also taking these measures to secure their safety.”

The job of a Campus Safety Specialist includes: Making sure all perimeter doors are closed and locked at all times, going through the school and checking for propped doors, ensuring all students and faculty are wearing an ID and addressing any safety concerns. Facilities Assistant Principal John Contreras is ecstatic that he’s here on campus.

“He is extremely qualified for the position,” Contreras said. “I would say that this deposition is created to ensure that someone is always visible and walking. He’s here to help us make sure the school is safe.”  

Mr. Quintero is already forming bonds with students and staff. Additionally, the school is receiving fewer reports of doors being propped open, and students wandering the halls.

“I am loving the work that I’m doing, I really want to help students be safe and secure,”  Mr. Quintero said. “I’ve had a lot of teachers tell me “Thank you for what you’re doing”. Students high-five me and say, ‘Are you keeping us safe?’ I say yes, I am.”