With the help of local police, the Lewisville School District is putting their security against intruders to the test.
Officers from the Lewisville Police Department have been going undercover at local schools by attempting to get inside and testing security protocols.
"They'll tug on the doors, make sure they're secure, any entrance point, even the office in some circumstances,” said LISD Safety and Security Officer Matthew Garrett.
The undercover officer will often even make-up a back story for workers at the front desk to make sure they still properly check for identification and follow the district’s policies for letting the person go any further. Garrett said the officers are to take any opportunity an intruder might to enter the schools.
So far, the district reports success with the program. The police will give the school board a full report on the in-depth results of each school, but Garrett said they’ve already gained a lot of valuable insight.
"Every drill has something to learn from, and that's what they're meant for,” he said. “You don't want to see 100% because that means you're not testing something."
Garrett took on the Safety and Security Officer position this year, newly created for the district, after working for years in emergency management for Dallas and other local communities.
"We're finding the issues and we're fixing them,” he said.
That includes everything from potential security hazards to common emergencies.
Garrett said his biggest role has been forming a strong bond with local police in Lewisville, Flower Mound, the Colony, Carrollton, Highland Village and Denton County so they can partner on efforts like this one.
Lewisville Police Captain Jay Powell said that partnership has been great from all sides so far and they hope to continue working together.
"It makes the administration refocus our efforts in how clear are we with the staff about what's expected,” said Lewisville High School Principal Jeffrey Kajs.
Kajs said as security needs evolve in the district, it’s up to everyone to pitch in, so these kinds of partnership and drills put more responsibility on the shoulders of the entire staff to notice when something’s wrong and speak up.
"We can't think of everything, but between the partnership with the city, and the county and the district officials, I think we can make our schools very safe,” he said.
The Lewisville School District has 64 campuses spanning several cities. As part of their partnership with the local police, they also have school resource officers and security assigned to individual schools.