MIDLAND, Texas — iWatchTexas is a service provided by the Texas Department of Public Safety, and it has an app that's been around for four years.
Now, it also has a school safety extension that is relatively new, allowing parents, students and teachers to report problems with a proactive approach.
Sergeant Steven Blanco with Texas DPS is a big supporter of the app.
“The app is actually available to anybody,” Blanco said. “So, whenever we go to schools, myself or troopers go to schools, we always advocate for teachers, parents, school staff, to download the app. So, it is available on iPhone and Android.”
When it comes to why threats in schools are becoming prevalent, Blanco said it is a classic case of copycats.
“And that continues every time there is an active shooter-type event,” Blanco said. “There are copycat-type individuals who make threats to scare the public for a variety of reasons and those threats are taken very seriously, and those persons who make those threats are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
The tips on the app are anonymous, and they will help keep schools safe and secure by alerting the appropriate personnel of any potential threats.
“I encourage everyone to download the iWatchTexas app, because everyone in our community – parents, teachers, the students – everyone in our community are gatekeepers for our community,” Blanco said. “We are the gatekeepers of our community. So, we always say if you see something, say something.”
For more information on how you can get involved, visit iwatchtx.org.