ETX town takes proactive measures to ensure student safety

ETX town takes proactive measures to ensure student safety
(Source: KLTV News Staff)

WINNSBORO, TX (KLTV) - For Jody Hettich, the police chief for Winnsboro Independent School District, the Feb. 14 school shooting in Florida hit home.

"It's pretty tough," says Hettich. "We hope it never happens here, but we know we're not immune just because we're a small town."

With the help of the Winnsboro Police Department, the small town is now taking some big steps to ensure student safety.

Winnsboro Police Chief Andy Chester, says after a recent meeting with Hettich and the school district's superintendent, he's enlisting the help of a SWAT team out of Sulphur Springs to train Winnsboro officers on how to respond in the case of a school shooting.

"The team leader and the assistant team leader are coming over to show my guys how to make entries with one or two or three-man teams," says Chester.

Chester added that SWAT training is something he recommends for officers throughout the country in the wake of last week's tragedy.

Chester and Hettich also plan to make sure each officer in the department is familiar with the layout of each school and that students and faculty receive some training as well.

"They need to have some knowledge of what to do," says Hettich. "They need to have a plan also and if we don't go in there and train them they are going to lock up and they can't do that."

Hettich says besides training, the best thing on campus officers can do is pay attention by "knowing their schools, who is supposed to be there and who is not."

The SWAT team will be in Winnsboro on March 30 to train officers.

Hettich says they are still working on the district's plan to train students and faculty.

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