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DPS encourages Texans to utilize school safety resources

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Posted at 3:07 PM, Jan 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-13 16:13:53-05

The Texas Department of Public Safety wants parents of Texas school-children to know the resources available to them as school starts back up again for the spring semester.

There are three critical resources available to Texans to make sure their kids stay safe. These resources include the iWatchTexas program, the Texas School Safety Center and the Active Shooter Alert.

DPS says the iWatchTexas program is a partnership between communities and law enforcement. With this online tool, citizens can report suspicious activity and stop potential crimes. An iWatchTexas tip recently aided law enforcement in an unfortunate event close to home, when a citizen reported social media posts involving a San Patricio County teen who had killed his family and was planning an attack on his school. Law enforcement was able to get in contact with the teen before the attack, but unfortunately they were unable to stop him from taking his own life.

“School safety is a top priority for DPS, and iWatchTexas makes it easier for people to report anything suspicious that may indicate a potential threat,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw in a release. “We must remain vigilant to ensure our children and teachers are safe when they head to school. If anyone sees anything suspicious, it is critical for them to report it with this user-friendly tool. It may ultimately save lives.”

If you would like to utilize iWatchTexas, you can report your tips on their website, on their mobile app for iPhone and Android or by calling 844-643-2251.

In addition to iWatchTexas, the Texas School Safety Center is a useful tool on school safety for parents and members of the school community. DPS says it’s designed to be a central location for research, training and technical information for all school districts, charter schools and community colleges in the state.

Lastly, the new Active Shooter Alert System is an alert system designed to notify people in close proximity to an active shooter situation through cell phones, local broadcast media and Texas Department of Transportation Dynamic Message Signs to encourage people to avoid the area or shelter-in-place.

DPS said during the 2020-21 school year, there were no school shootings in Texas, and we can keep it that way by working together to prevent attacks by reporting any potential threats.