Summer Break Provides One More Chance for ECISD Police To Train

By Camaron Abundes   
NewsWest 9

ODESSA- Ector County Independent School District Police train year round but the summer break affords one more opportunity to prepare for the upcoming school year.

"We always want to be prepared for the possibilities." Lieutenant Mark Rowden with ECISD Police said they are constantly re-evaluating safety procedures and preparing for dangerous scenarios.

"We evaluate issues and situations that occurred the previous year," Lt. Rowden said. The spring semester proved busy for ECISD police with numerous lockdowns including a hoax gun scare at Crockett Junior High School. Just a week later, police found a gun at Blanton Elementary and took several sixth graders into custody.

"We're learning things everyday. We leave [those situations] alone a couple of weeks and we'll go back and see something else we can do better," Lt. Rowden said.

Every two years, officers must complete 40 hours of training mandated by Texas Commission on Law Enforcement.  In August, officers will spend two weeks preparing for the year during a two week long staff in-service. During the in-service officers will also take part in a safety drill designed to simulate a dangerous scenario.

"If we don't know it's broken, we can't fix it, so that's the purpose of the drill," Lt. Rowden said.

Along with at least one safety drill a year, Rowden says he gives presentations to students to teach them the consequences of bringing weapons to school.

"We're not only there to protect the kids, but we're there to educate, to support them, and to ensure that they have a safe and secure learning environment," Lt. Rowden said.