AUSTIN, Texas - Lake Travis ISD officers may soon have bullet resistant shield in their arsenal of equipment. This comes as the State authorized a grant program to help improve the response to emergencies at public schools.
In response to the Uvalde shooting, the State of Texas has authorized grant programs to improve public schools' response to emergencies. One of them is a Bullet Resistant Shield Program, which provides funding for ballistic shields to be used by officers at school districts.
"In light of last year’s events, we kind of looked at our equipment, and we did not have ballistic shields, so it became a need," Lake Travis ISD Chief of Police Andy Michael said.
Chief Michael has applied for the grant asking for about $63,000 to equip the district’s seven officers with shields. "My plan is to equip every officer with their own shield, so it’s readily available in their office at their campus," he said.
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Chief Michael said this is just one more layer of security.
"Anything that you can do to protect the officers gives them a little bit more assurance and if they do encounter a fire fight or gun fight, they might be able to take a few more rounds and stay in the fight a little longer where as if they didn’t have those shields, those first couple of rounds might be enough to take them out of the fight," Chief Michael said.
The Lake Travis ISD Superintendent of Schools said, "It is imperative that Lake Travis ISD take proactive measures to ensure response and care can be provided as quickly as possible in the event of an emergency occurring on school property."
Once the funding is approved by the state, the school districts will have 12 months to purchase the shields and officers will be required to take Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training.