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Brian Moore joins Diocese of Wilmington as director of safe environments: ‘If you see something, you have to say something’

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Brian Moore, Diocese of Wilmington director of Office for Safe Environments, Dialog photo/Joseph P. Owens

As the new director of the Office of Safe Environments, St. Joseph’s on the Brandywine parishioner Brian Moore is no stranger in working to keep people safe, especially children.

Moore, 54, is retired as safety and school climate manager with the Delaware Department of Education and before that worked as a director of public safety in the Red Clay School District. He took over earlier this year for Mike Connelly in the job that also serves as survivor’s assistance coordinator in the Diocese of Wilmington.

His past and present roles are very similar as he again will be working on safety protocol with multiple sites in a large geographical region. His job with the state was to make sure all schools were maintaining their safety plans, working with agency partners who helped develop emergency response plans, working with school resource officers to make sure the schools were safe and secure, and looking at current trends in school safety.

Moore and his wife, Karen, live in Greenville and just celebrated 30 years of marriage. They have two grown children. He has been chairman of the Delaware Police Athletic League, a volunteer job where he worked with the recently retired Connelly, who was his predecessor at PAL.

Moore said he’s happy to bring his experience to an important role in the church that has long been a part of his life.

“When I worked for the state and someone asked, ‘What do you do?’ I said make sure 186,000 have a safe day and go home safe to their parents at the end of the day,” Moore said. “I kind of had the same mentality when I came into this. Making sure that in all the parishes, all the schools, that the 8,000 kids that attend our schools are safe and that the 200,000 Catholics that go to Mass, that we’ve done everything we can to make sure they’re safe when they go to Mass.”

Like Connelly, Moore understands the struggles the church has confronted the last several decades with clergy sex abuse and wants to continue the work put in place by Connelly and their boss, Msgr. Steven P. Hurley, vicar general and moderator for the curia in the diocese.

“If you see something, you have to say something,” Moore said. “If a kid is being victimized, we have to know that. Find a way. There are anonymous tip lines. There are all the things that are implemented here at the diocese that we also implemented at schools in the hopes that if a child had been victimized … we’re able to prosecute that case. We can’t bury things.

“Msgr. Hurley has been very clear that when you hear the report, we’re going to address it and bring it to the proper authorities.”

Sex abuse is only one of the threats that exist but it can be the most difficult for victims to bring forward.

“When you try to identify predators, there is no predictor,” Moore said. “You have to look at specific individual behaviors. Victimization is about access and trust and that can happen anywhere. We’ve seen it in sporting coaches, we’ve seen it in the Boys Scouts … the myriad of places that the opportunity presents itself.

“It’s more about how the organization identifies and responds than it is trying to eliminate the presence of the threat. It’s not predictable. You have to build an organizational belief that is open to acknowledging that it happens and then responding when it does.”

A lifelong New Castle County resident, Moore said he is ready to help.

“I’m here if folks need a resource.”