After the tragic school massacre in Florida on Wednesday, Paris ISD Police Chief, Brad Ruthart, wants to reassure residents that the safety of all those on school’s campuses is their top priority.
“Having a police department on campus is for the safety and security of not only the students, but teachers and parents also,” said Ruthart.
Paris ISD Police Department has a certified police officer on every campus within their jurisdiction, including Lamar County Head Start, Givens Elementary School, Aitken Elementary, Justice Elementary, Crockett Intermediate School, Paris Jr College, Paris High, Travis High School of Choice and the Alternative School.
“We want to provide a safe and secure learning environment at all our schools. Our job is to help the school get through their day, however it may be,” added Ruthart.
Being trained and prepared for active shooter situations is one of the ways Ruthart makes sure all his officers and school staff are prepared.
“We coordinate training with the Paris PD each year and are ALICE trained (Alert Lockdown Inform Counter and Evacuate),” said Ruthart.
Through the ALICE program, they teach and instruct teachers and staff members on a yearly basis of things to look for.
“We teach and practice lockdown drills and procedures, practice the information gathering side of situations, what to look for and always stay informed on what’s going on. We also practice lockdown drills with students.”
In addition to being prepared for active shooter situations, officers at schools also monitor video surveillance throughout the day, check doors to make sure they’re locked and make sure all exterior doors and classroom doors are locked 100% of the time.
“100% of the time that children are at the school, we have officers on that campus,” reassured Ruthart.
Paris ISD also has a “Quick Tip” app, where anyone can report any concerns or tips they have; anonymously if they wish.
“I am very proud of the work that my guys do and they’re, in my opinion, top of the line law enforcement officers and school-based officers,” added Ruthart.
Chisum ISD, North Lamar ISD and Prariland ISD all have officials on campus also with similar protocols in place.