North East ISD is one of the first school districts in the state to form a unit of police officers dedicated to helping to meet the mental health needs of students.
The Campus and Community Resource Team comprises seven NEISD Police Department officers, none of whom wear the usual police uniform. This way, according to a school district release, students find the officers more approachable.
The release explained that police officers nationwide have been increasingly involved in mental health crises. NEISD created the CCRT to handle such crises and to provide support for families.
“They don’t really see me as a police officer; they see me as an adult they can trust,” said Officer Diana Rodriguez, who volunteered to be a part of the initial CCRT. “Without that trust, we can’t do our jobs effectively.”
A CCRT officer is stationed at each of NEISD’s seven high schools.
In addition to campus patrols, CCRT members conduct home visits and make follow-up care a priority.
The team members also work closely with family specialists and Student-Teacher Assistance Network counselors on campuses to help ensure students get the help they need.
According to the release, CCRT officers reach out to all the schools in their high school cluster, including elementary and middle schools, to provide support and resources for students facing mental health challenges.