WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — The Wichita Falls Police Department is considering substituting the D.A.R.E. program with the Crime Stoppers Safe Schools Institute Program in an effort to create a one stop shop for all aspects of school safety.
“Where we’re at in society, kids need to feel safe. It’s not like it was twenty years ago. These kids need to know that they can go to school and not have to worry,” WFPD Crime Stoppers Coordinator Danette Sheehan said.
The Crime Stoppers Safe School Institute Program aims to create an environment for students and school staff where students can report possible crime in an anonymous way.
Crime Stoppers Coordinator Officer Brian Bohn says they’ve already seen this program in action.
“As we saw here in our own community last week with all the bomb threats that we got, and that case was solved through a campus crime stoppers tip so again just giving the kids an outlet where they can report crimes that they know are happening,” Bohn said.
The WFPD is looking to fully replace the current D.A.R.E program with the Crime Stoppers one and the training with the Safe School Institute Program is customized for not only students but teachers too.
“It’s not only training the kids but also the staff that are in the schools on what to look for and the administrators so they’ll get to go through these classes too as well and not only teach those classes but teaching them how to report to crime stoppers,” Bohn said.
The program is committed to reaching students even if it’s outside of school hours and off campus.
“Definitely teaching more on cyber safety, human trafficking, awareness for that and also for the kids to be able to have a way to report to go along with their training is going to be instrumental for our students,” Sheehan said.
They say having this program in more schools is a way to help them reach the main goal.
“All we want to see happen are safer schools for our children,” Bohn said.
The Crime Stoppers program is in some WFISD schools right now and coordinators are waiting for final approval from the superintendent to implement it in all schools.
Crime Stoppers is also a part of Texoma Gives this year and donations will help fund this initiative. Find more information here.