New security initiatives headed to Fort Bend ISD campuses

Fort Bend ISD has canceled all after-school activities for Sept. 19.

Fort Bend ISD has canceled all after-school activities for Sept. 19.

Fort Bend ISD staff, students and parents will see some new safety and security measures at campuses over the next year as part of the district’s master plan.

FBISD Chief of Police David Rider gave a quarterly update to the board of trustees on March 4, highlighting some of the 27 security initiatives recommended by a safety advisory committee convened by the district in 2018.

Of the 27 initiatives, 16 are completed, eight are in progress, one will be implemented later as part of the 2018 FBISD Bond and two will require further evaluation, Rider said. Those two projects include implementation of facial recognition software installation and a school marshal program, he said.

As part of the $992.5 million bond passed in 2018, about $15 million was allotted to school safety and security measures such as door locks, fencing and student ID badges.

“Schools will be able to print their own ID badges,” Rider said. “We expect equipment to be delivered to schools before the end of the school year for students coming in the fall,” Rider said.

The initiatives fall into four categories: infrastructure; crisis communications and notifications; staffing policies and procedures; and district policies and procedures.

Some of the physical changes that will be seen in the upcoming year include fencing around elementary schools with portable buildings and installation of 44 emergency call boxes at middle and high schools.

Rider is also working with district departments to demo a “see something, say something” app in April. If acquired, the app would be customized to FBISD and available to staff and students to report safety concerns while at school, he said.

Trustee Kristin Tassin recommended that when the app is implemented, school staff schedule time during a school day to help students learn how to use it.

“The rollout for the app is going to be important,” she said.

In addition, Rider updated the board on the status of 16 additional police officer positions approved in 2018. As of March 4, eight police officers were hired, and five of them have completed the 16-week training process, Rider said. When fully staffed, there will be 72 police officers, he said.

Speaking about the timeline for when some of the projects will be completed, Rider said the app would be something quick to implement, and the emergency call boxes would be installed by July.

“We think that 25 of the 27 will be done within a year,” Rider told the board.
By Christine Hall
Christine Hall joined Community Impact Newspaper in October 2018, and covers Missouri City and Fort Bend ISD. She previously reported on health care innovation for the Texas Medical Center, was a freelancer, and held various news roles at the Houston Business Journal.


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