The school year is winding down across North Texas and before the last bell, the Fort Worth Police Department is preparing to implement specialized citywide plans to keep students safe.
The plans will address specific needs for particular parts of the city with an overall umbrella effort to focus on issues including loitering, fights and property damage.
Police said after the tragic shooting in Parkland, Florida, the Fort Worth City Council wanted better engagement with FWISD schools and wanted to know exactly how the department was preparing for the end of the school year.
Thanks to the creation of commanders for the six patrol divisions, there is a new approach specialized for each area.
City documents spell out the specific plans for each division:
Central Division will have beat officers and neighborhood patrol officers (NPOs) perform documented school checks each day during the last week of school. On the last day of school two NPOs will be assigned to both Trimble Tech High School and Carter Riverside High School to coincide with school dismissals. Additionally, two NPOs will be assigned to Riverside Middle School, Daggett Middle School and Morningside Middle School prior to dismissal and until the school grounds are clear of students. Special Response Team (SRT) Officers will patrol the adjacent neighborhoods and businesses in order to address large groups that gather and to discourage delinquent behaviors.
East Division will have NPOs, Property Crimes Officers and beat officers perform documented school checks during the final week of school at Dunbar High School, Polytechnic High School and Eastern Hills High School, along with the middle schools that feed these campuses. SRT officers will patrol the neighborhoods adjacent to school campuses at dismissal times to deter illegal or disruptive behaviors. Additionally, a nighttime detail is planned for the week after school dismissal to educate minors on the teen curfew ordinance in the City of Fort Worth.
North Division has not historically had many problems at the end of the school year, but will have NPOs and beat officers conduct documented school checks during the final week of school. Keller ISD plans to use off-duty officers to supplement security on their campuses at the end of the school year. The North Division NPOs will partner with our Citizens on Patrol volunteers to provide high visibility patrols near the schools and surrounding neighborhoods.
During the final week of school, Northwest Division beat officers and NPOs will conduct documented school checks throughout the day. On the final day of classes, three (3) additional officers (NPOs and SRT officers) will be assigned to monitor activity at each of the following schools: Diamond Hill Jarvis High School, Northside High School, Chisholm Trail High School, JP Elder Middle School, Kirkpatrick Middle School and WA Meacham Middle School. Citizens on Patrol volunteers will be asked to patrol the surrounding neighborhoods and report on any disturbances they observe.
South Division will concentrate efforts around North Crowley High School, Crowley Middle School, Meadow Creek Park, and the surrounding neighborhoods and businesses where students traditionally congregated in prior years after final dismissal. The NPOs and COPs have partnered successfully for the past several years in patrolling, deterring and addressing criminal and disruptive behaviors during the final week of school, and will repeat those efforts this year. Additionally, beat officers and NPOs will conduct documented school checks throughout the final week of classes.
The response in West Division will focus on four campuses based on issues in recent years. Teams of two or three NPOs will supplement each School Resource Officer at Middle Level Learning Center, Leonard Middle School, Arlington Heights High School, and Paschal High School on the final day of classes. Beat officers and COP volunteers will patrol the shopping and residential areas around those schools. School checks will be conducted each day during the final week of classes at all campuses. Additionally, NPOs are coordinating with White Settlement Police and the district to ensure there is adequate coverage at Brewer High School located in their city.