Governor Greg Abbott wants Crime Stoppers of Houston to take its Safe School Program statewide, as part of his wide-ranging school safety plan.
The program uses kids as the first line of intelligence to prevent school shootings.
Crime Stoppers of Houston expanded its school safety program after the Sandy Hook school shooting in 2012. CEO Rania Mankarious said that classroom trainings, from kindergarten to 12th grade, and building trust with kids have paid off. She pointed to one case, when they helped stop a student who planned to put explosives in the school and shoot other students. In 2017, the group also helped remove five weapons and solved 15 cases related to school safety.
Starting this fall, Crime Stoppers of Houston will share their training with over 130 other public safety groups.
“This is about making sure not one more student across our city or state has to go to school in fear or has to endure the unbelievable trauma of hearing gunshots and seeing loss of life,” Mankarious said.
She said that they hope the state will chip in or companies will donate to cover the $1.5 million training costs, so that it will be free for participants.
“We will also be working with the designated law enforcement in their area, marketing materials, reporting strategies and information as it comes back to law enforcement,” Mankarious said. “If we can have 134 cities or towns operating the same way, we can have a safer Texas for all kids.”