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La Joya ISD assigning armed police officers to elementary schools

2 months 5 days 21 hours ago Monday, June 13 2022 Jun 13, 2022 June 13, 2022 8:37 PM June 13, 2022 in News

The La Joya Independent School District is making an effort to enhance safety and security on campuses — starting with the district's elementary schools.

La Joya ISD is making security changes for the 2022-2023 school year.

"We currently have police officers and security officers assigned to the high schools and the middle schools and now we’re enhancing our security at the elementaries by also adding armed police officers to the campuses," said La Joya ISD police Chief Raul Gonzalez.

A total of 22 officers will join the La Joya ISD Police Department and each elementary in the district will be assigned one officer.

To pay for the additional security, Chief Gonzalez says the district will reallocate funding from staff  —  not including counselors or teachers  —  who are no longer working in the district.

However, Chief Gonzalez says this only meant to enhance the already existing safety measure at elementary campuses, like access controlled doors, security gates and surveillance systems.

"We already opened up positions and it’s just a matter of interviewing people and hiring them," Gonzalez said. "So, our goal is to have the police officers ready to go day one of 2022 - 2023 school year," Gonzalez said. 

Chief Gonzalez says the school district is also taking steps to improve response protocols in the entire district .

"My job is to look at best practices, get with other law enforcement agencies that have overlapping jurisdiction so that we can come up with training that’s going to maximize our services in protecting our students, staff, and our community," Gonzalez said.

It’s something that parents like Alexia Solis are happy about.

"I’m glad that the district was able to find the funds to be able to employ 22 officers that will assist in protecting our children," Solis said.

But she feels the district hasn’t done enough to communicate with parents.

“What I would like the district to do is involve the stakeholders, involve us parents in the decision making process,” Solis said. “We need to come up with a plan together so that we can all implement and know what’s in place.”

Gonzales says the district has a task force with parents for elementary, middle and high schools to make sure everybody has a voice. 

The task force met for the first time June 7 and will continue to do so. 

The district asks parents with additional concerns to contact their child's campus. 

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