DPS shares safety tools ahead of new school year

The Texas Department of Public Safety is reminding community members about safety tools available to them as districts reopen for a new school year.

DPS says that by using all available resources, Texans can work together to keep schools safe.


DPS says the iWatchTexas program is a critical resource for reporting suspicious activity in schools and communities in order to help prevent dangerous attacks. 

Texans can download the free iOS or Android mobile app prior to the start of the school year. Tips can be reported via the website, the mobile app or by calling 844-643-2251. All reports are confidential. 

For information on how to use iWatchTexas, you can view this how-to video.

DPS is reminding Texans that iWatchTexas is not for emergencies. If there is an emergency on a school campus or in a community, call 911 immediately. 

Also, the program can be used to report suspicious activity in areas other than schools.

Texas School Safety Center

The Texas School Safety Center, which is part of Texas State University, is another useful tool for school security, says DPS. 

The Center offers valuable resources on school safety for parents and members of the school community and is designed to be a central location for research, training and technical information for all school districts, charter schools and community colleges in the state. 

The Center has staff experienced in school safety and can provide technical assistance or training, conduct program evaluations or offer resources to schools, says DPS. Classes are also available online for the community.

Active Shooter Alert System

Last September, DPS implemented the Active Shooter Alert System, which is not school-specific but could be used in the event of a shooting at or near a school. 

The newly implemented alert system is designed to notify people in close proximity to an active shooter situation through cell phones, local broadcast media and TxDOT Dynamic Message Signs (DMS), to encourage people to avoid the area or shelter-in-place.

DPS will issue an Active Shooter Alert when an agency submits a request that meets the following requirements:

  • An active shooter is in the requesting agency’s jurisdiction
  • Determination that an Active Shooter Alert would assist individuals near the active shooter’s location
  • Verification exists of the active shooter situation through a preliminary investigation by the requesting agency
  • The active shooter’s last known location is identifiable