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DISD Starts Academy To Train Its Police Officers

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DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – As part of the Dallas ISD’s push to increase security in schools, the district is now training its own police officers.

Dallas ISD is hiring six new police officers and for the first time ever, the cadets will be trained through the Dallas ISD’s own police academy.

“This is a real exciting time within the Dallas ISD police department,” said Craig Miller, Chief of the Dallas ISD police department. “Mr. Miles has given us the latitude to do some things that historically we’ve never been able to do.”

Most school police officers come from and are trained by other departments. By creating their own police academy, the district police department will be able to tailor their curriculum to that of school policing and school safety.

“The emphasis will be on school education, which is a little bit different the way that school police officers view crime, crime fighting, as opposed to municipal policing. The objectives are a little bit different,” Chief Miller said.

The department is looking for officers who will not only fight crime and keep children safe, but also people who can be good role models in schools.

“We need guys and gals in the schools that are going to be mentors. People that are going to work with the kids, work with the administrators,” Chief Miller said.

Guys like Dallas Skyline graduate, Mario Reyna, make perfect candidates.

“I’ve always wanted to be a police officer in a school system,” he said.

He is one of six cadets going through the police academy. Reyna, a retired Marine, also coaches soccer and enjoys working with kids.

“I think if I can help my son, I can also help other students and other people in the community get on the right track,” he said.

Another cadet, Johanna Williams, who was a dispatcher for the department,  jumped at the chance to become part of the police force.

“I wanted to be out there helping them. I wanted to be there with them, not behind the radio,” she said.

The cadets get paid a salary throughout their time in the police academy and upon graduation will be certified police officers. The cadets are district employees and sign an agreement to stay employed within the district for at least two years.

“I think by doing what we’re doing- creating our own cadet program and growing our own people will make us better for many years to come,” Chief Miller said.

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