Roma ISD police officers to receive ballistic shields
Roma Independent School District police officers will soon be getting new ballistic shields.
The push for the shields comes five months after the deadly school shooting in Uvalde.
Roma ISD police Chief Benjamin Gonzalez says his department is ready to protect students and staff.
"My officers are very well prepared,” Gonzalez said. “They're prepared mentally, physically and proficiency with their firearms."
The chief says his officers train with their weapons four to five times a year, saying that the new ballistic shields will help officers take out an active shooter.
"It gives the officer more protection in case of a shooter event,” Gonzalez said. “It protects the officer to engage immediately and not have to wait for a SWAT team or for backup from the city police. Sometimes, there's not enough time for that. So, having the shields is a big advantage for our officers and of course our campuses."
Roma ISD police have 11 officers on their force, including the chief. Ten officers will be given a ballistic shield. Funding for the shields was approved during a school board meeting last month.
"Safety, I think, it motivated the board in their intent to have a safe school environment and of course to assist the officers to do a better job in protecting the schools," Gonzalez said.
Roma ISD has 10 schools in its district. Each campus has one armed officer and two unarmed security guards.
The district also has an extra layer of security at some of its schools.
"We currently have metal detectors in our high schools and our middle schools," Gonzalez said.
There are plans to place metal detectors at all campuses.
The 10 ballistic shields cost the district about $76,000 from the district's general fund.
The shields should arrive in December.