Jourdanton PD increases officers at schools after Florida shooting

Police officer: 'Our main goal is presence, presence, presence'

By Garrett Brnger - Reporter

JOURDANTON, Texas - Getting into his patrol unit Thursday behind a cluster of schools in the Jourdanton Independent School District, Jourdanton police Officer Timothy Sawicki was there to do more than just protect the schools. He was there to be seen protecting them.

"Our main goal is presence, presence, presence," Sawicki said.

The Jourdanton Police Department put several officers around the school campuses, which are all next to each other, following the mass shooting Wednesday in Florida that killed 17 people. 

The police presence is an increase in security from the normal presence of a school resource officer on campus, with other patrol officers stopping by from time to time.

The idea is to show the people they're sworn to protect and anyone who might try to harm them that the officers are there and ready.

"If you are thinking about doing something to a school, this isn't the one you want to do it at," said police Chief Eric Kaiser.

Kaiser said the department added several more officers during the peak time of student drop-offs and pickups. 

Sawicki said officers walked into a couple of classrooms and talked with teachers and students about the Florida shooting, and what they should do in a similar situation, such as staying away from doors and turning off lights in classrooms.

Jourdanton High School Principal Keith Chapman said the officers normally "are pretty much around here most of the day." After Wednesday's shooting, he said the police presence provides some peace of mind.

"Just helps us, you know. Just go about doing our business, and we know that they're out there, and they're on top of things, too," he said.

Violence like the Florida shooting provides an opportunity to review existing safety protocols, Kaiser said. While the department will taper off its presence, eventually, school safety will continue to be a priority.

"We will continue to work on improving the safety plans, as long as this is an issue," he said.

Other school districts in the San Antonio area told KSAT 12 News that they had not increased their police presence in the wake of the shooting. 

Some larger districts have their own police departments that patrol campuses.

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