A North Texas school district recently hired eight armed safety officers to patrol its schools, reported WFAA.
Burleson Independent School District announced last week that its Board of Trustees approved the hiring of the safety officers, which includes former police officers, U.S. Army soldiers, and SWAT officers.
The school already hired two safety officers with law enforcement backgrounds.
“Burleson ISD’s School Safety Officer program is founded on our core belief that former commissioned peace officers are the most capable security personnel as they are highly trained, skilled, and experienced,” BISD Superintendent Dr. Bret Jimerson said. “These newly hired School Safety Officers offer the best solution for districts that wish to bolster its safety and security plan by adding personnel to elementary campuses.”
The School Safety Officer program was approved on August 8 at a BISD board meeting.
The district said these safety officers have a combined 300 years of experience in public safety, including military intelligence, SWAT experience, and drug trafficking enforcement.
“The years of experience, training, and knowledge these School Safety Officers bring to Burleson ISD will greatly benefit our Safety and Security team,” BISD Chief Operating Officer Steve Logan said. “We believe this will be a model program other districts emulate.”
Richard Morris, a 36-year veteran of the Fort Worth Police Department and one of the people hired as a school safety officer, told WFAA that he is proud to have been hired at BISD.
“Because we’re armed and we’re heavily armed, we have whatever we need to take care of a predator,” Morris said.
Superintendent Jimerson acknowledged the role that the Uvalde massacre played in the decision to hire school safety officers. The shooting at Robb Elementary School in May left 19 students and two teachers dead.
“Uvalde changed our world and there’s no going back,” Jimerson said.
The safety officers will primarily patrol the district’s elementary schools but will also respond to other campuses if necessary.