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Volunteer Citizen Patrols Will Add Security To FWISD Schools

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(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Joel Thomas
Joel is an Emmy Award winning journalist with more than 15 year...
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FORT WORTH (CBS 11 NEWS) - The Fort Worth Police Department on Friday will announce a new program to add more security in schools without increasing the numbers of uniformed officers on campus.

There won’t be more officers, but there will be more adults to watch the kids on campus.

“Its assuring to me to know someone is right there, should something crazy happen out of the blue,” said parent Brent Samuels. “In this day, it’s crazy sometimes and it’s nice to know law enforcement is close.”

Normal, every day citizens like Maureen & Bob Beaucond will ensure help is close by.  They’re members of Fort Worth Police Department’s Code Blue: Citizens on Patrol.  They’ll be, “Extra eyes and ears to alert the police if there’s a problem,” said Bob Beaucond.

The COP members carry police radios.

“And at any time, we can go onto the police channel and request something if it’s an emergency,” said Maureen.

Schools will be a natural extension for the citizen patrols.  They currently patrol their neighborhoods, keeping an eye on things and using the training they learned from the police force.

“Some of the members will take extended training with a citizens police academy class,” Maureen said. “And then an ongoing once a month class with the citizens police academy alumni.  And we have a lot of things we learn about very sensitive issues.”

Fort Worth police chief Jeff Halstead came up with the initiative.  He hopes to make it a model program for the rest of the nation.

“If they have an issue at school, whether its bullying, someone trying to peddle dope to them, whatever they need to go to someone at school, a school official or police officer or code blue member and have qualified help, unjudgmental help,” Maureen said.

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