The North East Independent School District began school on Wednesday and their police department says they’ve worked hard to make sure that students feel safe when they return to their campuses.
“We look at safety every day. You know, we look at what we’re already doing to see if one, if it’s working and if we need to make any changes. Number two is ‘what are we doing that is working?’ But maybe we can enhance it,” Wally McCampbell, NEISD police chief said.
McCampbell said safety has always been of the upmost importance at all NEISD campuses. Measures have been improved and heightened in the last five years due to a bond given to the district, specifically for safety and security, he said.
“And in that bond, what we did was we added secured entry vestibules at some of our schools. We outfitted every single school with a video buzzing system. So that way, anybody who’s coming up to our schools to visit must be recognized and buzzed in before they even get into the interior of our campuses,” McCampbell said.
The district also installed perimeter fencing around the schools to better secure the inner area.
“Because what we were seeing is that, you know, even though we put in the buzzing system, a lot of our campuses are open. They’re huge. Obviously, at high schools we had parking lots in the back of the campus. You had parking lots in the front, on the side. But anybody that parked there could just kind of freely walk onto the campus to get to the check-in area,” McCampbell said.
NEISD police say they also recommend keeping your head on a swivel on the way to school, while at school, and even after. He said if you see something, say something.
“So, I need the community, I need the teachers, I need the students to be able to provide, you know, viable information if they see something that maybe should be a concern or if they overhear some conversation. They need to tell an adult or law enforcement to let us know so we can start looking at that, because safety is everybody’s responsibility,” McCampbell said.
Additionally, McCampbell says officers will have the tools necessary to immediately breach any door at any time for any emergency situation.
“That means, what I have in my hand available to me right now should be able to open that door, to get in there, to provide whatever type of assistance that is,” McCampbell said.