DPS to Help Patrol Texas School for the Deaf’s Campus

DPS to Help Patrol Texas School for the Deaf’s Campus

Armed DPS troopers are now on-site at the campus multiple times a day, getting to know the school’s layout, students and staff, according to TSD Superintendent Claire Bugen.

Troopers from the Texas Department of Public Safety are working with the Texas School for the Deaf to secure its 67-acre campus, which has 50 buildings and serves 600 students from Pre-K to age 22.

Armed DPS troopers are now on-site at the campus multiple times a day, getting to know the school’s layout, students and staff, according to TSD Superintendent Claire Bugen. DPS’s Capital Region is also holding some routine staff meetings on TSD’s campus to increase trooper visibility and help them familiarize themselves with the school, she said.

"They're already patrolling the campus a couple of times a day, which is just really nice, just the presence goes a long way to prevention," Bugen said. "You know, it is clearly not the solution to all of the issues related to school safety, but we're very excited."

Bugen added that she and other TSD staff are interested in finding a place on campus where troopers can set up an office space.

"We just want to find them a home on the campus where they can get to know the students a little better, have a little more visibility at school events," Bugen said.

As a state school, TSD didn’t have access to school resource officers, Bugen said, but after the School Safety Initiative was introduced by Gov. Greg Abbott, a staff member suggested asking for help from DPS. Previously, TSD only had staff members trained as security employees, but the employees were neither peace officers nor armed.

“In accordance with Governor Abbott’s School Safety Initiative, DPS Troopers are working with local law enforcement and school officials to increase the visibility of law enforcement on campuses and at school events," said Dwight Mathis, Spokesperson for DPS, Regional Director. “We are proud to partner with TSD to bolster security on the campus and to enhance safety for all students and school staff.”

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