Parents and teens, are you ready? Classes for Carroll ISD schools begin next week on Monday, August 22!
The Southlake Police Department, along with the City and Carroll ISD leadership, are working to ensure parents and teens are aware of the new traffic signal at the north entrance of Carroll High School on White Chapel.
The traffic signal is part of the North White Chapel improvement project. The City commissioned a traffic study for this project, which noted there is adequate pedestrian foot traffic to warrant a crossing signal at Ascot and White Chapel.
The new traffic signal is a significant change for drivers who will be dropping-off or picking-up students at CHS. It’s important that drivers take a look at the *attached map and become familiar with the flow of traffic and follow the directions as shown.
Front of Building
The Southlake Police Department will have its School Resource Officer, Officer David Tatsak, on site to help keep traffic moving efficiently. Drivers can assist officers by adhering to the traffic pattern outlined on the map.
Police Chief James Brandon says, “This will greatly ensure a smooth transition during peak drop-off and pick-up times. There will also be a significant police presence around the school to make sure everyone obeys the traffic laws. The safety of our kids is of the utmost importance.” Additionally, if your child is walking to and from school, they are encouraged to use the crosswalk at the new light.
Additional police officers, along with SROs, will be on hand at all CISD schools during the first weeks of school. Parents are encouraged to allow extra travel time when dropping-off or picking-up children from school to allow for any construction in the area or heavy traffic.
If you have any questions, please contact our Office of Traffic Management at (817) 748-8130 or message us on the DPS Facebook page.
“We were given a mission by the City Council and the families of Southlake,” said Assistant Police Chief James Brandon. “Now it is time to find the officers who will not only add another layer of safety and security to our schools, but also help provide support and encouragement to Carroll students.”
The placement of SROs in the Carroll schools was the result of a recommendation by a safety and security task force headed up by Southlake Mayor John Terrell. Other task force members include Carroll School Board President Read Ballew, SPARK representative Laura Hill, Southlake Police Chief Steve Mylett as well as state, and federal law enforcement officials. The task force was created after the tragic shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown Connecticut.
“The hiring criteria of the Southlake SROs is specific, any applicant must have an advanced TCLEOSE designation,” said Human Resource Director Stacey Black. Black worked with Assistant Chief Brandon and Chief Mylett to create the job description and work scope. Much of it was based on the task force’s recommendations and Brandon’s and Mylett’s years of police experience.
“It’s a different kind of police work that’s why it will take a special kind of officer to be successful in this role,” said Chief Mylett. “They will have to be willing to forge relationships and make investments into the students’ lives and their wellbeing. It’s about helping create an environment where kids can learn and thrive and feel safe doing it. That’s why we will only hire the best of best.”
Once the applicants are hired, Assistant Chief Brandon says that the officers will go through a week-long specialized training that will focus on the safety and security needs of the school environment. Not long after that training is over, the officers will then help open up the 2013-2014 school year on August 26th.
The enhanced SRO program will be funded primarily through the Crime Control and Prevention District; a voter approved local sales tax allotment that funnels 1/2 cent of every sales tax dollar into a fund designated for safety and security initiatives. The City’s general fund will also contribute towards the program’s costs.
Three months after the horrific school shooting in Newtown Connecticut, a task force focused on school security and student well-being has recommended placing School Resource Police Officers (SROs) at every Southlake public school. The goal is to have the officers in place by the beginning of the 2013-2014 school year.
On March 19th, task force member and Southlake Police Chief Steve Mylett made the recommendation to the City Council explaining the plan’s history and importance.
“The goals of the SRO program include enhancing security on all Southlake public school campuses, reducing community fear regarding child safety, and reducing the likelihood of drug and alcohol use,” said Chief Mylett.
He also explained that under the current program, a full time School Resource Officer is stationed at Carroll Senior High School, with another one assigned at Carroll High School. A third officer splits time between the City’s two middle schools: Dawson and Carroll. The Task Force recommendation expands the program from three employees to 13 employees to cover an additional eight schools including Florence Elementary which is part of Keller Independent School District.
At the March 19th meeting, Mayor John Terrell told the audience that he sees the expanded program as a long-term investment. He stated later: “As with any long-term commitment, this program will evolve and we will modify it as we believe is necessary so that it will continually improve. What’s important is that this investment is constantly nurtured by its stakeholders so it becomes and remains a program of excellence which benefits Southlake’s families and the community.”
All of the money for the expanded program will come from the Crime Control Prevention District, the half-cent sales tax that was approved by voters to support the City’s safety and security initiatives. The board, which has fiduciary responsibility over the fund, approved the task force’s recommendation at their meeting on March 5th. The City will move forward this summer with making the necessary budget adjustments.
The Task Force was assembled shortly after the shootings in Newtown Connecticut where 26 people lost their lives after a shooter entered the Sandy Hook Elementary school and opened fire. The group researched and held meetings to determine the appropriate recommendation for an enhanced SRO presence for Southlake schools. It is composed of law enforcement experts, community leaders from both the City and Carroll ISD, and faith based leaders.
“We appreciate the cooperative partnership between the City of Southlake and Carroll ISD, especially on the topic of school safety,” said Read Ballew, School Board President and a member of the Mayor’s Task Force. “The group was quick but thorough in making a recommendation. Safety is a top priority for all of us, but the city’s expansion of the SRO program allows Carroll ISD to concentrate on our main focus of educating students.’
Superintendent David Faltys said the existing SRO program provides students, staff and parents with the opportunity to build strong relationships with local law enforcement officers. “The city’s efforts to help keep our schools safer also provide us with a great opportunity to utilize the expertise of these officers to positively impact the lives of students. We look forward to working with Chief Steve Mylett to find just the right individuals to fill these positions.”
City staff will now move forward with the necessary steps to seek out and hire qualified officers to staff the enhanced program. All SRO officers are required to go through 40 hours of specialized training that will focus on the specific safety and security needs of public schools and the children who attend them.