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Killeen ISD board members press on with safety policies discussed from last year

Killeen ISD
Posted at 12:42 PM, Mar 09, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-09 13:42:31-05

KILLEEN, Texas — Killeen ISD board members met Tuesday and addressed continuing their safety improvements that were brought to the table last summer.

One of the main topics of discussion under the safety concerns was threat assessments and related policies.

KISD Board President Brett Williams said, "We were approving our threat assessment teams, and those are targeted teams to put our students in the best environment, to not have to experience a tragic incident, but also to help staff be proactive with kids who may be having problems with thoughts of homicide or suicide."

In light of the reality of gun violence in schools across America, the districts stay on top of their safety measures.

The Gun Violence Archive found, there have been 1924 school shooting incidents since the year 1970, the year 2021 had the highest number with a total of 249 shootings, followed by 2019 with 119.

The Killeen Police Department is aware of this reality and has been working on and continue to work on improving the safety of all campuses. The department's Police Chief, Ralph Disher shared with 25 News, they've had 10 weapon cases on campus already involving both parents and students, they've always had a heightened awareness of the need for safety, but such issues have made their stamp down on safety policies and procedures far more.

Ralph Disher's background goes back to 1980, he started his career in law enforcement in Tyler, spent time as a detective in Bell County, and managed a crime unit for the state where they handled 6-8 figure thefts and embezzlements.

After many experiences in the law enforcement field, he made it back to his hometown, Killeen in 2018 and took on the role of Police Chief for the Killeen Independent School District.

Disher shared, "I believe because of all what we're seeing now not just in schools but in societies, we're seeing an increase in violence across the nation... we have 27 officers right now, we had 29 positions and once we got near that 29 level that's when they agreed to give us 29 positions, like a lot of the law enforcement agencies around here, we're trying to find good quality people."

The school district has been pressing on successfully, filling their positions by amping up salary and benefits packages, helping them attract top talent and compensate employees fairly.

Safety issues the Police Chief said will always be a topic of discussion and a top priority in the district.