LCISD PD help students as well as protect them - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

LCISD PD help students as well as protect them

Chief of Police Rick Saldaña Chief of Police Rick Saldaña
Lubbock-Cooper School District's PD works with school staff to keep an eye on students Lubbock-Cooper School District's PD works with school staff to keep an eye on students
LCISD Police Department has 10 total officers LCISD Police Department has 10 total officers
LCISD Police Car LCISD Police Car
LUBBOCK COUNTY, TX (KCBD) -

The Lubbock-Cooper Police Department is responsible for eight schools south of Lubbock.

Their campuses stretch from Highway 87 to Frankford Avenue. 

Police Departments at schools have a different motto, "we don't gauge the effectiveness of this department by the number of people we incarcerate, we gauge the effectiveness by the number of people who graduate."

After 18 years with the district Chief of Police Rick Saldaña says,  "The only thing that's predictable is that human behavior is unpredictable. You never know what kind of day someone is having.. we have to be prepared in every situation." These school officers work even when the halls are empty. 

"During the summer months we're going to do extra firearms training, active shooter training, policies, visitor check in." The officers in Lubbock-Cooper ISD are each assigned to specific schools, and they maintain a balance between friend and enforcer. He says, "I feel policing in a school district is completely different than a municipality, with one hand we're providing guidance, building a relationship, but with the other hand we're ready to enforce the law." As they patrol the halls they remember not every child is a fan of theirs, but they're role models with badges and guns.

"Some of the most heinous crimes have taken place in schools. But as a district officer we have the same rights, privileges and authorities... So put me in a school! That's where I want to be."

The district trains every lawn care worker, every janitor, every cafeteria employee to sometimes pause--and watch the things unseen by officers. It is part of an approach to have supervision cover as much of each campus as possible. Saldaña is proud of the performance by everyone and says in 18 years he has never had to pull his weapon on anyone. "I just want parents to know we're taking care of their kids at all costs."

Their success based on those moments with students is different than cuffing the criminals. Saldaña says, "That's easy to do when you provide a safe learning environment where teachers can feel safe teaching and kids can feel safe learning."

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