Weslaco, TX (News Center 23) — In Weslaco, the safety of students currently falls on the shoulders of 44 security guards. But after the string of deadly school shootings across the country, the Weslaco ISD School Board is ready to re-open their school police department.
"As opposed as people are to guns and things like that, there is a high sense of security that people feel if there is a police officer with a gun that could respond to any type of thing," said Dr. Ruben Alejandro, Weslaco ISD Superintendent.
The school board and administration plan to have the new department up and running by next school year. And while many things will be changing, the current security staff will not. The school district won't lose any security guards with this new department, they will only be gaining officers.
"Originally, what we had done is we started taking look at a force of about 10 officers. Two at each of the high schools, one at each of the middle schools and an investigator and a police chief," said Alejandro.
And while these men and women will be playing their role as officers, that won't be their only job within the district.
"But we want to have a very collaborative type relationship with our officers, where they are actually come into the school and provide lessons on drug awareness, gang awareness, things like that. So that they are part of the curricular component of our school system," said Alejandro.
It's a task that comes with a big bill. Estimated to cost between 800 thousand to 1 million dollars, Weslaco ISD has now been applying for several grants to help with this endeavor.