LINDALE, Texas (KETK) — The Lindale Independent School District announced Thursday that it will have more police staff during the 2022-2023 school year.
The district will reportedly have a full time, armed and trained police officer at every campus during the school year. The Lindale ISD Police Department was initially established in 2015 with three officers and with the new staff increase, there will be a total of six officers.
“I am extremely excited for the opportunity to have a Lindale ISD Police Officer assigned to each of our campuses this year,” said Joey King, Lindale ISD Police Chief. “Having an Officer assigned to each campus provides another layer of protection for our amazing students and staff. I would like to thank the LISD Administration and Board of Trustees for all of their support in this venture. This is solid proof of Lindale ISD’s commitment to keeping the safety and security of our students and staff as a top priority.”
The district says that all Lindale ISD Police Officers have completed the Active Shooter Response for School-Based Law Enforcement class, including training beyond the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training Center (ALERRT) program as a part of our current safety and security standards.
“In the afternoon we actually came to a campus (and) spent the day working through classroom active shooter exercises (and) things like that,” said King.
Officers will be equipped with handguns and other firearms, medical supplies and specialized tools to assist in the event of an emergency, including security cameras inside and outside of all schools provide live access to front office staff and police. The district says they work closely with local law enforcement agencies and fire department to coordinate prevention and response activities and perform regular security audits.
Lindale ISD Police Officers, the Lindale Police Department, the Smith County Sheriff’s Office and Smith County Precinct 5 Constables will regularly patrol campuses, according to the school district. The district has also implemented a new program that will allow law enforcement to eat at our campuses for free.
According to the school district, the comprehensive security program addresses prevention, intervention, preparedness, emergency response and building security. Safety and security measures will reportedly be routinely reviewed and adjustments will be made when necessary, with the district saying they are constantly exploring new and creative ways to enhance existing security measures.
“Our campuses are great instructional sites for our students,” said Stan Surratt, Lindale ISD Superintendent. “It is almost always calm, quiet, and peaceful but we can’t become complacent or relax our standards in terms of being aware and secure. We have enhanced our security at every campus and we will be having more safety training for our staff. We are adding many more safety checks and measures to guarantee the safety of all. Our students and staff will be safer than ever before.”
Chief King is also a parent and wants to help relive the anxiety parents feel.
“I just want them to feel comfortable every morning knowing that when they dropped them off, they’re in good hands. At the end of the day, they can pick them up and and know that they had a great day and felt safe all day long,” he said.
The district said other current safety features of LISD schools include:
- Crossing Guards direct vehicle and pedestrian traffic
- Full-time nurses at each campus have access to medical supplies, protective gear and equipment
- Automated External Defibrillator (AEDs)
- Epi-Pens or epinephrine (used to treat severe allergic reactions)
- Albuterol (bronchodilator that relaxes muscles in the airways and increases air flow to the lungs)
- Emergency first aid kits including tourniquets and Stop the Bleed Kits
- Comprehensive guidance and counseling program focusing on the whole child, including support for students’ mental, social and physical needs
- District has a contract for random visits of K9 interdiction covering drugs and powder detection
- Security apps such as Stopit, CopSync, Raptor and FirstNet
- Walkie Talkies at all campuses
- Breaching tools at all campuses
- Tasers for all Lindale ISD Police
- Door Buzzer Security Systems
A press release from the district states that “Lindale ISD recognizes the need to balance an open and welcoming atmosphere with the need to assure stability and continuity, to safeguard against disruption of the educational process, and to ensure the security of the schools.”
As such, the principal will have the authority to make decisions regarding all visitors to the schools and classes and will use the following guidelines to do so:
- All visitors must check in at the front office and have proof of identification. A visitor’s temporary badge will be issued for that day only
- Visitors will not be permitted to access hallways, gymnasiums, cafeteria, classrooms or hallways without permission and be in the presence of a school employee
- Parents/Guardians listed on Skyward may drop off food in the office for their student. No outside food deliveries are permitted
- Guest speakers, student teachers, substitutes, or any other all-day visitor accessing the school during a school day must be cleared by a background check in advance of the day they will be on campus
- Visitors must conduct themselves in a professional and school appropriate manner. Failure to act appropriately will result in the visitor being asked to leave or escorted off the premises by the School Officer
The release further stated that “the safety and security of our students and staff is a team effort and we rely on the continued support of students, parents, and the community to keep our school district safe.”
“We are so blessed in this community and in our school system,” said Surratt. “We have such wonderful students and staff plus super supportive parents and community members. Working together, we can and will provide an environment for our children and staff that we can all be proud of.”
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