The City of Southlake working with Carroll ISD and law enforcement professionals is looking at new ways to strengthen enhance school safety in all Carroll ISD schools.
“Our most precious resource deserves our best efforts which is why I have discussed with the Southlake Crime Control and Prevention District, funding of more than $500,000 in the coming year to support the exploration and implementation of new, innovative safety and security initiatives at Southlake schools,” said Mayor Laura Hill.
(Click the play button for Mayor Laura Hill’s message about School Safety)
History of SRO Program
In early 2013, after the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, the School Resource Officer program was expanded at the recommendation of a City of Southlake-CISD-Parent task force. By the start of the 2013-2014 school year, specially-trained officers were in place at each CISD elementary school and intermediate school in addition to the officers at the middle schools and high schools.
Much of the $1,000,000 funding for these officers is from the Crime Control and Prevention District portion of the City’s sales tax. In 2015, voters re-authorized the district for 20 years helping to ensure the future of SRO program and other safety initiatives.
2017-2018 School Year
“The success of our SRO program can really be seen in the day to day interactions with CISD students,” said Police Chief James Brandon. “New investment will only further their mission keep our kids safe and focused on learning.”
In the 2017-2018 school year, the Southlake SROs have participated in more than 4,000 school patrol hours, 850 student meetings, 550 coach or mentoring hours, 450 parent meetings, 90 SRO led student classes, and 40 community presentations.
“All of these efforts have resulted in zero student citations,” said Chief Brandon. “I look forward to working with CISD, and our law enforcement community so that we can continue to see these types of outcomes in Southlake schools and students can learn and have fun without worrying too much about their safety.”
For more information on the City’s SRO program, please visit www.CityofSouthlake.com/SROs.
Tarrant and Denton County voters are able to vote in the May 6th special sales tax election starting next Monday. The early voting period takes place from April 24th through May 2nd.
An election brochure was delivered to homes the week of April 24th with information regarding the special election.
Earlier this year the Southlake Crime Control and Prevention District Board called for a special election to ask voters to consider a twenty-year continuance of the current 1/8 cent sales tax that supports crime control and prevention programs and capital purchases.
In calling the election, the Board also established strategies for the District that will be used to guide future District investments, should the continuation be approved by Southlake voters:
The ballot language will read as follows:
“Whether the Southlake Crime Control and Prevention District should be continued for 20 years and the crime control and prevention district sales tax should be continued for 20 years.”
During early voting and on Election Day, all voters are required to present an approved form of identification.
On Election Day, May 6, 2017. Southlake voters must go to their county precinct polling location on Election Day. You can find your county precinct by checking the appropriate county website. (Denton – Tarrant)
Questions regarding early voting and Election Day may be directed to the Southlake City Secretary’s office (817) 748-8016.
When the Crime Control and Prevention District (CCPD) was approved by voters in November 1997, the vision was clear: to allocate a dedicated funding source, via a half-cent sales tax, for programs and capital purchases to reduce crime, increase public safety and maintain a high quality of life in Southlake. During the past 17 years, this vision has come to fruition through the hiring of additional police offers, firefighters and school resource officers; acquiring vital equipment and software; implementing a citizen safety academy; and most notably, building three state-of-the-art public safety facilities, the last of which will officially open January 14.
“This facility is an investment in our community and a promise for enhanced safety and security for our residents,” adds Mayor John Terrell. “The vision of the City Council and the Crime Control Prevention District Board for the DPS North Station has been years in the making, and we are proud of the work that everyone involved has put in to making this facility a success.”
Southlake’s DPS North Station has been in the making since June 2010, when City Council unanimously approved its construction. Located at 100 E. Dove Road near Bob Jones Park, the campus includes a 28,186 square foot operation and training building, and a separate 10,738 square foot firing range. Housing four firefighters per shift and a brand new engine, it is strategically positioned to serve the northern parts of the city faster, which results in saving lives and property.
Wade Carroll, Southlake’s deputy director of fire services, confirms this has already taken place since personnel began operating out of the building November 25.
“A structure fire was called in December 19 in Estes Park, which is a neighborhood down the street from the new station. Our guys arrived in just a little over three minutes and were able to contain the fire in the garage and keep it from damaging the rest of the home,” said Carroll, noting the average response time to north Southlake is approximately 10 minutes from the other two stations in the city.
However, DPS North was designed for more than emergency response. Equipped with three classrooms and an auditorium that can seat up to 100 people and has four flat screen monitors, surround sound and live streaming capabilities, it is meant to be a training center for internal purposes, as well as public and regional events. The adjacent underground gun range will also be made available to other DPS departments. A range master and two training officers (one for police and one for fire) are stationed at the facility and additional office space is available as the training program expands.
“There is no public safety facility like this in our neighboring cities and we expect it to be utilized for training activities throughout the year for our own employees, citizens and regional law enforcement partners,” Police Chief Stephen Mylett explained, adding initial events include a Business Safety Series starting January 29 and a city-wide CPR class February 15 in honor of the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women campaign. “Not only does this keep our public safety employees nearby for training, but it will save the department money in training expenses.”
The DPS North Station also includes a walk-in clinic to assist injured persons, a kitchen and break area for training attendees, and a fitness room and living/sleeping quarters for fire personnel that were designed for quicker access to the engine bay.
Designed by Robert Garza, the same architect used for DPS Headquarters on Carroll Avenue, the buildings share similarities in exterior appearance, interior design and commemorative artwork that includes two bronze statues and a mural in the entrance depicting various scenes of police and fire personnel in the community.
Another unique feature of the DPS North Station is its nod to the environment. Using the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) guidelines, many energy efficient and conservation measures were implemented during construction:
LEED standards are intended to reduce energy and water usage, lower operating costs and improve comfort. As a result, an application has been submitted for the building’s LEED Gold Certification.
Saving lives and property is the mission of the Southlake Fire and Police Departments. Whether it is an auto accident, structure fire or medical emergency, getting there as fast as possible is critical to providing the highest level of public service. As one of only four accredited fire departments in Texas, Southlake must meet certain standards of operation and performance measures, including response times:
Currently, Southlake Fire Department’s standard response time is 6 minutes and 30 seconds, surpassing the national standard by 30-40 seconds. With the opening of the DPS North Station, the goal is to reduce the response time to 5 minutes. During 2013, Southlake Fire Department responded to 2572 calls, 409 of which were in the north district.
“There is no such thing as status quo. We are either improving every day or we are growing stale and complacent,” stated Carroll. “The Fire Department does not have influence on the location of the emergency it responds to, but it does have control of how quickly help arrives. Our goal is the fastest response possible to all citizens within Southlake.”