With kids back in class and school safety being a hot topic, the Bexar County Sheriff is trying a pilot program to increase security in rural districts, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
The agency has a large number of reserve deputies who normally do ride-alongs to keep their peace officer license. Instead, Sheriff Javier Salazar is sending them to work with the Southwest and East Central School districts, where they will work with the school's police forces to keep kids safe.
"While the debate goes between more guns are the answer or less guns are the answer, we like to take action here," he says.
Since the reserve officers volunteer for the ride-alongs as a way to keep their license, he says it will not cost the department any money, nor will it divert resources away from community policing.
Richard Palomo, Chief of the SWISD Police, welcomes the extra help, but says they will get extra training first.
"Working with juveniles, you have to have a lot of self-restraint. So we do a lot of mental health training."He praised the plan, calling it a win-win for both the reserve officers, who need the volunteer time, and the district, which needs more policing.
"We all know that when you have additional police presence, that has the tendency to deter crime."