At PTO meeting, PISD Chief of Police Nuñez addresses school safety

PRESIDIO — At a regularly scheduled PTO meeting last week, Joel Nuñez, chief of the Presidio school police, outlined the tools he said local authorities are using to keep Presidio students safe.

Every campus has a map,” Nuñez told a group of a few dozen parents at Lucy Rede Franco Middle School. “Every campus has a plan.”

Some of the meeting focused on what parents and students could do to help minimize risks during a lockdown or actual crisis. He asked that parents not come and check on the school during moments of crisis, which he said would “put yourself in danger and put us in a situation where we have to worry not only about what’s happening outside, but what’s happening inside.”

He asked that parents be his “eyes and ears” if a student was getting bullied or, worse, making threats. “Parents, this is where I’m asking for your support,” he said. “We all need to work together. There’s only one of me on this campus.”

The rest of the meeting focused on some of the technology and logistics that he said would help keep students safe. The schools have planned perimeters for disasters, and classrooms are outfitted with “COPsync” systems, he said. The technology allows teachers to message cops from their computers. That information feeds into maps, which authorities can use to determine which classrooms are all-clear or in danger, Nuñez said.

Nuñez also touched on active-shooter drills at Presidio ISD. “The law says we have to drill,” he said. “Like I said, Senate Bill 11 says we have to drill.”

After the presentation, Nuñez showed The Presidio International some of the other safety features at the school, including a front-desk area where adult visitors are given background checks and U-shaped door-jams that help keep doors closed.

We’re trying to do this as tastefully as possible without it looking like we’re in a prison,” Nuñez explained. “That’s why we don’t want metal detectors.”