The Newtown school shooting has provided the impetus for a district in our area to step up its security efforts.
Cooper ISD started its police department in 1999 with just two officers, and has expanded the force on a consistent basis. The district is currently in the process of adding four additional officers, so all seven campuses will have full-time police presence. Superintendent Pat Henderson said he feels more comfortable having trained officers to protect his schools, instead of arming teachers.
"I would not feel comfortable putting teachers in that position. They're not in law enforcement, they haven't spent a lifetime, and so, I think the way we're doing it is the proper way to go," Henderson said. "But every school district has to do what they feel is best for the safety and security of their staff and students. I feel really good about the support our board has given us and our community about the way we're going about it here at Lubbock-Cooper."
Two officers have already been hired, and Henderson expects the other two will be on the job within the month. In addition to having a full-time police officer on every campus, the Cooper force also has a canine unit for drug sweeps of secondary campuses, a nighttime officer and a chief to monitor all schools as well.