The priority of Wylie ISD is to ensure the safety of our students, our staff, and our visitors while maintaining a warm and welcoming environment that is practical and ﬁnancially sustainable. As you may know, we have asked you for input regarding your perceptions of safety and security several times the past two years. We appreciate your feedback, insights, and patience regarding ideas and concerns to provide the best possible safety and security for our schools.
We currently have eight School Resource Officers (SRO’s) who serve and protect our schools and two more who will be in place this April. We believe Wylie ISD has the best SROs, love these folks, and we think they do a great job. You agree. Based on our safety and security survey we have shared several times, your biggest priority is increasing the number of security personnel at our campuses in the next five years. You also expressed the need for campus safety and security to include
Traffic/parking lot safety
Entrance security and visitor management
Our campus personnel also needs support for campus emergency management and safety drills training based on new legislation.
Most of our campuses reside within the city of Wylie. Our initial concern was that Wylie PD would have a difficult time providing enough SRO’s to accommodate our need to meet the number of additional officers we need in the future. The City of Wylie has assured that we can maintain the 9 SRO’s they provide, and we are grateful for them. Sachse welcomes the opportunity to continue our partnership to provide one SRO. We are grateful and look forward to our continued partnership. With 20 campuses, our focus now turns to how we can provide that same level and quality of security to every campus and address the additional requests we mentioned above.
On September 16, a Wylie ISD Board of Trustees Safety and Security workshop was held regarding future staffing needs to determine the best pathway to tackle this problem. Information regarding options, ideas, and costs was presented. Based on this presentation, trustees asked me to do the following:
Get community and school feedback from all stakeholders
Define what “guardian” means to Wylie
Get data and do more research
Ensure that any future person hired for safety and security purposes is a licensed police officer or military-trained professional
Hire a Director of Safety and Security with safety and security experience
Since this workshop, we presented similar information to teachers, principals, and folks from the City of Wylie for feedback and input. We intended to initiate small group meetings and civic clubs, combined with informational handouts, with time for feedback.
The initial feedback we received from this group told us that we have more work to do and lots to learn. This list includes determining the ideal number of staff required to provide adequate safety for our campuses and the specific roles and duties of those we are asking to protect each school.
We also learned that we need an expert to guide the process before we proceed any further. In the 2019-20 budget, trustees approved the Director of Safety and Security to guide the process back in May. In addition to directing the daily operations of the district’s safety and security programs and procedures, this person will explore all options to increase safety and security personnel at all campuses while working with our police departments, school staff, and parents to help ensure the safe and secure environment we all want for our children.
NOW OPEN: DIRECTOR OF SAFETY AND SECURITY
Requirements of this position include a minimum of five years of experience in law enforcement. This experience can derive from experience with police, military, or other law enforcement organization. The individual will have advanced knowledge of safety and law enforcement policies and procedures, including crime prevention, public safety training, life safety programs, and emergency management operations. All tools will help us provide the safest possible environment for our students, staff, and visitors. This position has been posted and we encourage those qualified to apply.
During our scheduled City/School Partnership meeting on Friday, committee members of both the school board and the city discussed how we can work together to ensure that our schools, and our city, remain safe. There was some great dialogue and input from both sides on everything from traffic and school zones to SRO staffing and community relations.
Meetings like these are crucial to making solid decisions and different perspectives help to guide our process. Many more meetings like these will help craft our final proposal to trustees for consideration. Transparency and communication are two areas we know are vital to keeping your trust. I will continue to use this blog, as well as our other communications routes, to keep you informed. When I say the schools belong to you, I truly mean that. Before any board action would be taken to begin placement of personnel in schools, information from what we learned would be shared with the public, and additional board workshops would be conducted to discuss any possible plans going forward. Your input is always welcome and appreciated. Thank you for loving our kids and community as much as we do, and thank you for making our campuses safer, the Wylie Way!