By: Sarah Snyder
MIDLAND - When your kids hit the halls at school this year in Midland they'll have some company. Campus police aren't just patrolling the streets around the school. They're watching the hallways and working with students right inside the classroom.
Many West Texas kids spent their first day back at school thinking about their new teacher who's in their class or that big stack of textbooks. But while students settled back into their routines on Monday morning, the MISD Police Department worked on a brand new one.
"That's their job to make sure that they are taken care of at school so us as parents don't have to worry about them," Abell Jr. High Parent, Summer Allen, said.
"I expect them to make sure all the students are safe, they're not bringing weapons, they don't have drugs," Abell Jr. High Parent, Alma Nary, said.
Armed with new equipment and dispatch system, Midland ISD launched a new method of patrolling the campuses. Instead of just watching the outside they're stationed inside and working with students one on one.
"We're reactive in that when they called us, we would respond," Midland ISD Police Chief, David Colburn, said. "But now, we're going to go out and be more active and participate with students more so that they feel they can approach us and not be afraid to approach us."
For the first time this year, every single officer and security guard will be responsible for mentoring at risk students on every campus.
"This is going to allow us to get to talk to those kids and find out what their issues are and there might be some things we can relate to when we were their age, so I think they're going to find that those barriers are going to drop a little bit," Chief Colburn said.
"It teaches a lesson and helps people work out their differences," Abell 7th Grader Drelyn Nary, said.
Midland ISD Police spent the summer moving into a new station and setting up their dispatch system hoping to improve their response time in case of a campus emergency.
"Much safer knowing my child can go to school and be safe at school and I don't have to worry about them," Allen said.
"The safety of our students is first and foremost," Nary said.
Midland ISD Police say since they put officers on each campus the school-wide crime numbers are on the decline. Last year, they didn't have any big calls most of their responses were simple assaults like pushing and shoving and criminal mischief.