KATY MAGAZINE NEWS
August 12, 2019
By Natalie Cook Clark
Katy ISD Police Department and local authorities are preparing for school to start this Wednesday, August 14. Training includes meeting with the Emergency Management Coordinator, hosting an active shooter drill, and reviewing district safety practices.
Katy ISD Police, local authorities, and some Katy ISD staff participated in an active shooter drill. Photo courtesy Katy ISD.
Katy ISD Police Train for Back-to-School
Katy ISD starts school this Wednesday, August 14 and teachers, staff, parents, and students are getting ready for the big day. KISD also has it's own police department with officers licensed by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officers Standards and Education. The 60 officers and 67 security officers have been busy preparing to welcome students back into Katy schools for the 2019-2020 school year.
This year Katy ISD is projecting to have around 82,789 students. The district has 10,438 full-time employees and 549 part time staff.
Active Shooter Drill
Last Thursday Katy ISD Police Department partnered with local law enforcement in hosting an active shooter drill at Katy High School. "The active shooter drill at Katy High School was very productive," says Katy ISD Police Chief Robert Jinks. "We were able to meet with surrounding first responders to share expectations and responsibilities in case of any future collaborations. We were also able to work on communication issues between the different agencies."
Approximately 14 Katy ISD officers participated in the drill but that wasn't all. "Among those participating was many safety-minded teachers and administrators who participated in the drill," explains Jinks.
The drill took those training through potential scenarios. Specifics of the drill cannot be shared. "We could not have asked for a better group."
As part of the annual officer meeting and training, Katy ISD officers met with and worked with Ruben Martinez, Emergency Management Coordinator.
Local Law Enforcement Support
Katy schools also have the support of local law enforcement. "We want to assure you that the safety and security of our children and school staff is our priority," says Constable Wayne Thompson. Thompson is Constable for precinct 3 that covers 3 school districts, who all have their own police departments. Constable Thompson ensures that precinct 3 is trained and ready to help in any situation on school grounds. Such preparedness includes:
All Deputies patrol schools in their assigned areas.
The assignment of a School Resource Liaison, who is also a certified SRO, to communicate with the schools regarding any needs or issues that may arise.
All Deputies must complete a minimum of 16 hours of active shooter training. Furthermore, we have an instructor for this program working at precinct 3.
Precinct 3 has an operational fully trained and qualified SWAT team w/armored vehicle and tactical medical staff on standby through a unique partnership with CVFD.
Precinct 3 has a certified UAS (drone) pilot with drone capability for large scale events. Harris County Sheriff's Office recently add 2 drones with pilots to their program too.
Katy ISD is fortunate to be surrounded by many prepared and supportive law enforcement departments.
Katy ISD Police Review Safety Procedures
As part of back-to-school preparedness, Katy ISD police reviewed all safety procedures. "Katy ISD police officers are required to patrol and be present at elementary, junior high and high schools throughout their work day. Some schools have assigned officers," says Chief Jinks. Officers are also assigned for after school extracurricular hours as well as a roving patrol.
Don't Forget Your ID
Just like last school year, no one will be allowed access into a Katy school without presenting their drivers license. To enter a school you will press the button on the call box, and hold your ID in front of the camera. Then you'll be buzzed into the main office where your ID will be scanned and a visitors pass with be printed.
All junior high and high school students are required to wear a school issued ID while they are on campus.
Continually Assessing Safety Needs
"Prior to every school year, the Katy ISD Police Department reevaluates it’s building changes and procedures as part of its district-wide measures," says Chief Jinks. "The District is continually assessing safety needs and taking responsive measures to ensure our campuses are equipped with updated security systems. However, certain safety and security enhancements are not disclosed to the public in order to protect the students and campuses."
Help Your Student Be Safe
Talk to your child about school safety and discuss the various drills they may have in school so they are prepared. Most children take on the fear of their parents so having calm, open discussions will help them feel more calm. It's also a good idea to stay involved with their school and to be aware of what is going on.