Last school year, the City committed to working with school and law enforcement professionals to form a School Safety Task Force to find new ways to strengthen and enhance school safety in Southlake schools. With several months and multiple recommendations under its belt, the start of a new school year also means schools in Southlake will be starting with additional safety resources.
Each school is assigned a Southlake Police Officer as a School Resource Officer (SRO), this year two additional SROs will be assigned to the high schools.
“With the creation of the School Safety Task Force we made a promise to do more to protect our children. We started to deliver on that last year, and will continue to do so this year,” said Southlake Police Chief James Brandon. “We’ve made some visible changes, and we’ve made some people won’t see, by design. Recent events have created more questions about school safety; the Southlake Police Department SROs are doing everything they can to achieve the highest standards in safety and security in every Carroll ISD school. Parents can rest assured knowing we’re here to do our best to keep their children safe.”
In addition to providing a Southlake Police Officer to each school, each SRO is a trained classroom instructor on topics such as stranger danger, dating safety, internet safety, drug, alcohol and tobacco awareness.
“All of our SROs believe that the safety of the students is paramount when responding to any situation,” notes Chief Brandon. “Working alongside parents is a key factor in that and is a top priority for SROs to help keep students safe.”
Southlake SROs make investments every day to further their mission to keep students safe and focused on learning. The success of the program can be seen in the day-to-day interactions with CISD students.
“All of these efforts resulted in zero student citations,” said Chief Brandon. “I look forward to continuing to see these types of outcomes in Southlake schools in the year to come. Our goal is to make sure students learn and have fun without worrying too much about their safety.”
The Southlake SRO program has been in place since 2005. 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 $1,600,000 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.
You can learn more about Southlake School Safety on the City of Southlake website.