Four schools in North Texas went into lockdown Tuesday morning for various reasons. Campus security officials are on heightened alert after last week’s school shooting in Connecticut.
For a short time, Florence Middle School in southeast Dallas was locked down while police negotiated the end to a standoff in a house nearby. DISD Police Chief Craig Miller says that was a standard safety precaution. But after Friday’s shooting, Miller says he’s formed a special task force within the department to concentrate on school security and safety plans.
“This week myself, and command staff and those officers are making visits out to the campuses to talk to the principals and find out how their emergency plans, if everybody feels comfortable with them; if everybody’s where they need to be with regard to the drills which should be executed during the fall,” says Miller.
In Tarrant County, lockdown procedures kicked into place at Birdville Elementary after someone reported a possible gunshot. Police say it was a car backfiring in the parking lot. In Ferris, the escape of a suspect from police custody sent the entire school district into lockdown for a short time. And Lake Worth High School was evacuated after a note was found suggesting a bomb might be in the school. A search turned up nothing.
Chief Miller says every school safety issue must be given the utmost priority, and he feels a heightened sense of responsibility after the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary.
“All of those of us around the country that deal in school safety, I think we’re going to find that there are things we’re going to learn that will make us better, long term,” Miller said.