Aug 15, 2013 5:39 PM by Janine Reyes
ALICE -- As your kids head back to the classroom, you may wonder who's on campus to keep them safe.
While CCISD has their own police force, the Alice Independent School District hires and trains security guards, who are only certified to carry handcuffs.
For a total of two weeks, Alice ISD security guards are in training, and for the first time ever, the police chief is heading up that training.
When class is over, they'll know CPR, basic first aid, and how to handcuff. That is, after all, the only thing the guards are armed with.
"Anytime you start adding other things, pepper spray, batons, fire arms, to the school, you add a whole different level liability and training," explained Police Chief Randy Weems.
"It's security guards armed with handcuffs that are monitoring the schools, is that enough," we asked Superintendent Dr. Grace Everett, "I don't think that's ever enough and I don't think that we're going to have any real warning if something should come about," she said.
If something should come about that security can't handle, the school district will have to call in Alice Police.
Weems helped develop and is overseeing that training.
"We have taught everything from first aid, to hand cuffing, defensive tactics, investigations, handling adolescents.
Now, they'll know what to do to help police before they arrive.
Police presence at the schools is also on the rise. They periodically show up to walk the halls.
Last year, Dr. Everett says she saw a lot of fights and often called police to the schools.
"Calling police and having them present and handcuffing the children and taking them off so that the parents would have to come pick them up has really made a big impact," Everett said.
She says by the end of the year, they had fewer fights.
Another problem from last year came from juniors and senior leaving campus for lunch.
"We were having a lot of issues in the community, one being that the kids were not coming back to the campus," Everett explained.
Everett says closing the campus to all grade levels this year will also help keep students safer. "We know that what they can do is very limited bit I'm still glad that they're there," she said.
Weems had kids in the school district. He says the unarmed security guards are well trained, and he stands behind the program. "You feel comfortable," we asked him. Oh, absolutely," he replied.
The district is hiring two new guards this year, they will get 20 hours of on the job training by the guards trained in the summer sessions.