WICHITA FALLS (KDFX/KJLT) — The Wichita Falls ISD School Board is taking steps towards what they believe will make each campus safer.
Although a new police force plan would reduce the overall number of school resource officers, they feel like, in the long run, this move is essential.
“We’re taking a big step forward in Wichita Falls by moving to our own police force,” WFISD Superintendent Mike Kuhrt.
There are currently 16 student resource officers in the WFISD, but due to some quitting and no-shows, they usually are down three to four people a day.
“The system just wasn’t working for us, we have so many officers that work for us all the time, but we then had some that wouldn’t work on a regular basis, so we just didn’t have normal regular coverage,” Kuhrt said.
The new plan seeks 10 student resource officers, one at each high school, then McNiel, Barwise and Kirby, plus the CEC and Denver, and then capped off with two elementary rovers.
And WFISD Police Chief Lahoma Vaughn believes a permanent fixture of safety at each campus will help them, and the students too.
“If you have an SRO in Hirschi every single day, from 7 am until 3:30 when the last student walks off the campus, that’s gonna be more effective than having a sub,” Vaughn said. ‘That officers going to have the ability to see that Johnny over here isn’t acting right toddy let me see what’s going on.”
Something Chief Vaughn says it could end up making all the difference.
“If one walked in with a backpack, I wouldn’t know if he belonged at this school or if he goes to old high, so that’s the whole purpose of having a school resource officer in the school is to know who belongs here and what’s going on,” Vaughn said.
“Having an armed police officer on a campus tells anybody else that somebody on campus is armed, and will engage should there be an issue on campus,” Kuhrt said.
Forming lasting relationships and protecting everyone on campus, too.
And anyone interested in becoming a student resource officer should be on the lookout for more info from the WFISD, click here to follow along.