AUSTIN (Nexstar) — Four months after the shooting massacre at Robb Elementary school in Uvalde, Gov. Greg Abbott tapped a new leader to head the state’s school safety and security division under the Texas Education Agency.
In a press release Monday, the governor announced John P. Scott — a former assistant special agent in charge of the U.S. Secret Service for Dallas/North Texas District — will start immediately as the state’s top expert on school safety.
Scott will oversee the implementation of the legislature’s mandated school safety policies and “take every action possible to ensure schools are using best practices to safeguard against school shootings or other dangers,” according to the press release.
“Protecting Texas children and making our schools safer for all are top priorities, and John Scott is uniquely qualified to help lead our efforts ensuring their safety and security in Texas schools. Chief Scott’s wealth of experience in security and intelligence and exemplary service to our nation make him the perfect fit as the new Chief of School Safety and Security. I look forward to working with Chief Scott as we continue increasing our strong collaboration and communication among state agencies to provide a safe and secure environment for every Texas student, parent, teacher, and school faculty member.”—Governor Greg Abbott said in a Monday press release
Scott will be the main point of contact for school safety coordination, reporting directly to TEA Commissioner Mike Morath and the governor.
“Both as Commissioner of Education, and as a dad, I recognize our schools must be safe for students to learn and grow,” Morath said in a statement from the press release. “TEA’s new Chief of School Safety and Security, John Scott, brings incredible security expertise to the role. We are grateful for Governor’s Abbott’s leadership on this critical issue.”
Prior to joining the Secret Service, the Dallas resident was a U.S. Army Field Artillery Officer and Captain and is a graduate of Texas Tech University. Scott’s resume with the Secret Service includes a broad range of security-based roles, including working as special agent in protecting the Vice President in D.C. and serving on a cyber fraud task force for North Texas.
“I am honored to join the Texas Education Agency in this capacity,” Scott said in the press release. “I plan to work closely with partner agencies and school systems across the state to keep our students and staff safe.”
Scott will be in charge of communicating and collaborating with officials from several divisions and agencies within the state, including: the TEA, the Texas School Safety Center, the Department of Public Safety, the Health and Human Services Commission, the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement, the Higher Education Coordinating Board, the Texas Child Mental Health Care Consortium, and the Advance Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training Center, school districts and other entities.