TX school district gets SWAT team for added school safety

Monday, March 11, 2013 - 11:53am

Edinburg CISD is bulking up their school police force by adding in a SWAT team.

"We felt if we had a SWAT team we can be better prepared for any intruder or active shooter," said Chief Ricardo Perez Jr., Edinburg CISD Police.

Today they are practicing an active shooter situation in a school hallway. It's a quick drill, but it's this practice that will make the difference in a real situation.

"We are training at least twice a month with our local law enforcement agencies, Edinburg Pd, UTPA, like I said we just got recently certified through the sheriff's department," said Perez.

This new team isn't the only new change being added to school security.

"Superintendent Dr. Rene Gutierrez and the school board, are reviewing the fact of employing additional officers, to place them at all elementary schools," said Perez.

Currently, Edinburg CISD has 48 swore police officers, 40 security officers and three K9 officers, but this force will be expanded come next fall.

And with new people and new training, the district of course added some new equipment.

All 48 officers have been given iPads. These devices will become each officers eyes during any lockdown situation.

"Once we get on campus and we can access on the systems, the surveillance systems, we will be able to track any movement through our surveillance cameras," said Perez.

All these changes come as part of a district wide effort to better protect the students and it didn't cost the tax payers any additional money.

The Hidalgo County Sheriff's Department provided the SWAT training free of charge, and the equipment and uniforms were already in budget.

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