UVALDE, Texas – Governor Greg Abbott announced Wednesday that the Department of Public Safety (DPS) will be providing more than 30 law enforcement officers to campuses throughout the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District (UCISD) for the new school year.
“The beginning of a new school year should be an exciting time for students and teachers, and the State of Texas is working to provide that for the Uvalde community,” said Abbott. “As a new school year begins, we must ensure students, parents, and all dedicated school personnel can look forward to new opportunities to learn and grow. Texas will keep working to provide all available support and resources to the Uvalde community as they continue to heal.”
Abbott said the DPS security presence was requested by UCISD Superintendent Dr. Hal Harrell and will help ensure students, parents, and school faculty feel secure as they return to school.
“We know going back to school will be especially challenging for many in Uvalde,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “The Texas Department of Public Safety is committed to working with the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District to ensure each child, parent, and teacher feels safe and protected during this difficult time. There is no task more important than this.”
Governor Abbott has taken the following actions to help the Uvalde community following the tragic shooting at Robb Elementary School:
- Initiating the State of Texas’ comprehensive plan to assist and support members of the community, including co-locating state agency representatives to the Family Assistance Center for on-hand assistance in finding benefits.
- Investing an initial $5 million to establish a long-term Family Resiliency Center in Uvalde County to serve as a hub for community services, including access to critical mental health resources.
- Providing $1.25 million to Uvalde Consolidated School District for trauma-informed counseling, crisis intervention, and community outreach.
- Issuing a disaster declaration to accelerate all available state and local resources to assist the Uvalde community.
- Requesting Texas legislative leaders convene special legislative committees to begin examining and developing legislative recommendations on school safety, mental health, social media, police training, firearm safety, and more.
- Directing the Texas School Safety Center (TxSSC) to begin immediately conducting comprehensive school safety reviews to ensure all Texas public schools are following the appropriate procedures to maximize school safety.
- Directing the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to provide strategies to make Texas public schools safer through heightened safety standards.
- Instructing the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERRT) programs to provide training to all school districts across the state, prioritizing school-based law enforcement.
- Directing TEA, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB), and the Department of Public Safety (DPS) to expand and accelerate the ability to report suspicious activity through the iWatchTexas reporting system.
- Directing TEA to create a new Chief of School Safety and Security position within the agency.