Barry Donadio Featured In Kent Island Neighbors Magazine June 2020 Issue
On June 2nd 2020, Barry Donadio was described as a “pillar of pride” in the prestigious “Kent Island Neighbors Magazine in Maryland.
Kent Island is affectionately referred to as “Maryland’s Gateway to the Eastern Shore.” For decorated war veteran and former U.S. Secret Service member Barry Donadio, the island has granted access to far more.
Donadio, owner and president of Public Security LLC in Chester, is building a name for himself in public safety circles and as a supportive voice for victims and veterans. When public service first called the New Yorker to the Nation’s Capital in the early 2000s, Donadio put his private investigation background to good use, in search of an ideal community to call home. And after a brief stint in Laurel, he ventured east.
“Being a native Long Islander, I felt that I needed to live on an island,” Donadio recalls with a smile. Laurel offered convenience, but he was seeking a place better suited to the lifestyle he had grown accustomed to. When Donadio saw the picturesque water views on Kent Island, it was like a piece of a puzzle that fit perfectly.
Like many who reside on “this side of the bridge,” Donadio thought little of his more than 94-mile daily commute to and from the District, instead finding solace at the end of the day in the easy-going pace of island life. His career was, no doubt, demanding. For nearly a decade, Donadio proudly served on the U.S. Secret Service Emergency Response Team at the White House, providing close tactical protection to Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. Later, he was a government special agent in Washington, D.C., Virginia, and various locations in the Middle East. Years before, leadership positions inside the U.S. Air Force Security Forces saw Donadio completing criminal and incident investigations and supporting high-profile operations surrounding the Space Shuttle Recovery Team, U.S. presidential visits, protection of Air Force Alert Aircraft and the Team Leader of the Emergency Services Team.
Seeking the opportunity to leverage his unique set of tactical skills and realize his dream of owning a business, Donadio retired from government service and established Public Security LLC in 2013. “Although there isn’t a more significant honor than to serve your country, there comes a time when you want to move on and seek out new challenges to fulfill your personal dreams.”
As president of the company, he directs a 65-member team comprised of former federal agents and intelligence officers, military veterans, police and security professionals, and members of the medical community to deliver private security and investigation services for customers in Maryland and New York. Beyond traditional security and bodyguard services, Public Security LLC protects large scale events such as the Across the Bay 10k (for which the company acquired the security contract from 2014–2016) and offers self-defense training and gun safety courses. Currently, the team is also lending its expertise to Maryland authorities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Two marked security cruisers remain on standby and ready to respond to calls for service across the state.
“We pride ourselves on the honesty we provide to our clients and the level of professionalism we offer. We will not sacrifice our integrity for anything,” Donadio says about the company, which also strives to make a difference in the community. “If we see something out there in the performance of our duties that we can help to fix, we will. Many times, without ever taking credit for it. Whether it is picking up trash on the side of the road to offering assistance to a police officer who appears to be under duress, we always serve in the best interest of society.”
A commitment to service has been a through-line across Donadio’s career, and something he carries forward into his personal endeavors as well. “Public service is important to me,” he says. “I have always felt an obligation to serve the people as a whole. I feel it is a sense of duty to the country.”
He has authored two books — one fiction and one outlining his experience as an emergency first responder on the scene of the 1996 TWA Flight 800 tragedy — and is active in the Kent Island American Legion Post 278 and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7464 in Grasonville, where he stays connected to service members from the area. They, like the broader Kent Island community, have had a lasting impact on his personal and professional successes.
“There are scores of intelligent people here who have a wealth of experience in both public and private sector roles, and I have gotten to know and learn from many of them,” Donadio says. “Unity and kindness are pervasive in this town and something I hadn’t felt since I was a boy.”
Similarly, hey says the communities and neighborhoods are safe, the people are friendly and when your neighbors wave back, there’s a sense of community and nostalgia that makes him proud to call Kent Island home.
“In the past, I referred to Kent Island as the ‘Jewel of Maryland,’ and in my opinion, it’s yet to be discovered — even if some locals refer to someone like me as a ‘Chicken Necker.’ They can poke fun all they want, but I can’t think of a better place I’d rather live.”
This story originally appear in the June 2020 issue of Kent Island Neighbors and was written by Alicia Eagan.
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