Lubbock area schools evaluate security plans for athletic events

Districts making security arrangements

LUBBOCK COUNTY, TX (KCBD) - School administrators in Lubbock County tell KCBD that school security plans go beyond the normal class day and outside the buildings to extracurricular activities involving thousands of people.

This year Lubbock-Cooper ISD has implemented a new clear bag policy for all of its UIL-sanctioned athletic events to, "maintain a safe, monitored environment for students, fans, and guests of our district."

Districts may not make major changes each time, but their security plans are evaluated every year.

Frenship ISD says if the football stadium is at capacity, it can host up to 10,000 people.

"It's a big deal for us when we start thinking about how we are going to keep people safe and how we are going to keep people secure, not only inside the stadium but inside the parking lot and the surrounding streets as well," Frenship ISD Director of Public Relations Andy Penney said. "We always come together in the summer months and look at what we have done in the past, reassess, 'Do we need to change something here or do we need to change something there?', and then put a new plan in place."

Penney said eight to nine Frenship ISD officers join City of Wolfforth police and school administrators in providing crowd control and security services for football games. Frenship also contracts for further security coverage personnel.

"The first thing we ask is, 'Are we going to have personnel in place to feel comfortable with we are trying to accomplish?,'" Penney said. "What we trying to accomplish is provide a safe and enjoyable environment for an extracurricular activity."

Lubbock ISD says it also has numerous police officers and administrators throughout its stadiums and facilities hosting athletic events. Lubbock ISD also prohibits backpacks at its football stadiums, and like many other districts, doesn't allow any outside food and drink.

"We don't want anyone bringing an outside food or drink that may have something against school policy," Assistant Athletic Director J.J. Johnson said. "In the backpacks, we try to prevent anything that some students may be throwing at celebrations or when the team comes on the field. It protects the facility and fans around."

Lubbock ISD and other districts also do not allow guns inside facilities and on school property. Johnson said its security policies are evaluated each year wit
h district police.

"Our LISD security here thinks we have one of the most secure places [Lowery Field] every Thursday and Friday night in Lubbock," Johnson said. "We feel that same way. We probably over-staff with officers just to be proactive and make sure nothing happens. With our emergency action plans we've been talking about with our district and professional development we have done with all our staff I think we are ready for any type of thing that will happen, hoping they won't, but I think we are very prepared and very secure facility."

Slaton ISD says guidelines for attendance at football games have been in place now for five years, working to control crowds and keep the environment crisis-free as school officers have been added to the force over the past three years, they have also been added to security services at games. They also have school and city officers with school administrators on site.

New Deal and Roosevelt ISD administrators say its also their policy to have officers on the premises, some in plain clothes.

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