Round Rock ISD police discuss school safety following Nashville school shooting
ROUND ROCK, Texas - The Round Rock ISD Police Department held a virtual informational meeting Wednesday evening to talk about the police department, and its approach to school policing.
Parents also had the opportunity to ask the district police chief how the police department is working to make the students feel safe at school.
District-wide officers were on the call telling parents it's important for them to build a bond with the students because they realize some students have a negative experience with officers, and they want to change that.
Campus administrators say they are advocating for the student's behavioral health.
The police department works together with the behavioral department to help students during traumatic events.
"You want to be there in a nurturing way, but we're also there in the event we have to protect, and we have to be able to change really quickly between those two modes. And we train for that. We're constantly working with our partners in the community. You know the different police agencies, the different fire departments we try to work with them to develop protocols make sure our responses are quick and effective. We want to make sure that we're serving our campus communities the best we can," says Round Rock ISD police chief Dennis Weiner.
Another question that a parent asked during the meeting was, does every campus in Round Rock ISD have a school officer? Police Chief Weiner said no, they don't have enough officers on staff, they work strategically to cycle officers to different campuses.
Parents also asked how does the police department handle arrests on campus.
Police Chief Weiner says the department handles arrests if violence is involved, there's a threat to the community, or if it's mandated by the law.
Bluebonnet Elementary Principal Sam Soto chimed into the conversation saying they will reach out to the police department as a last resort if the situation escalates and a police officer is needed.
"I don't call police officers for issues that have that has to do with student discipline. Unless there's a weapon involved of some sort, then by a weapon I would mean if there was a gun or a B.B. gun that looks like a real gun, then I would find that deemed necessary to make that phone call," says Bluebonnet Elementary principal Sam Soto.
The district police chief says it's important for the community to keep this conversation going. They will be working on planning more information meetings in the future and hopefully hold them in person.