Texas DPS works with Bloomburg ISD

Parents may notice more of a presence of police officers in and around Bloomburg ISD and other districts throughout Texas this school year.  
Bloomburg ISD and other school districts in Texas are partnering with the department of public safety and local law enforcement to increase safety for students as they go to school.  
Increased police presence is a result of a plan enacted by Governor Abbott in the wake of the school shooting in Galveston County this past May.  
This is yet another step in addition to tighter security measures, like digital locking systems, security cameras, and increased training, that districts like Bloomburg are taking to keep students safe.  
Now with increased police presence in and around schools in addition to the regular patrols, schools are working even closer with the local law enforcement agencies to ensure that families can feel confident in their students’ safety when they are at school.
State troopers like Sergeant James (Skeeter) Ammons and Corporal David Stewart as well as other state troopers, the sheriff’s department, and local police officers will be working together to enact the Governor’s plan.  
The plan details multiple steps to increasing police presence at schools including: encouraging on and off-duty troopers to attend school events, regularly walking throughout school campuses during the school day, conducting training at schools, and working closely with school officials to allow officers to have more interaction with students through mentoring programs, physical fitness trainings and interaction with students during breaks and lunches. 
DPS is also encouraging the use of iWatchTexas, a website where suspicious behavior can be reported online.  
Sergeant Ammons said that our local state troopers started this program even earlier than the Governor’s mandate in July.  Last March they began increasing their presence within schools.
Bloomburg ISD has been working closely with local law enforcement, including partnering with officers to make sure an officer is present at home sporting events.  
Last year State troopers met with the high school principal, Andrew Rankin, to assess the district’s preparedness in the event of an emergency.  
A group of troopers toured the school, assessed the safety protocols in place, and gave advice the school can put into action to increase safety even further. 
Corporal Stewart emphasized that touring the school to better understand their protocol and layout will be a big help in the event of an emergency. “We learn the schools, then if there is a problem, and we respond, we know the schools,” Stewart said.
Beyond increased safety, Sergeant Ammons and Corporal Stewart noted additional benefits to the program.  
Increased presence in the school has allowed police officers to have many more positive interactions with students. “We are getting our presence out. People know we’ll keep kids safe, and they have a more positive look at law enforcement,” Ammons said.  Ammons and Stewart said that community response has been very positive toward the new initiative.  
Recently they were helping with car pickup at Atlanta ISD, and one of the moms offered to buy them lunch.  
Although they did not take her up on the offer, they were happy that their presence is being received well, and they hope that it will only further a positive relationship between police officers, students, and the community as they all work together to keep kids safe.

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