Arlington Police encouraging safety on first day of school year

Arlington ISD Superintendent Dr. Marcelo Cavazos visited several schools on a back-to-school junket

  • Dr, Marcelo Cavazos (Photo: Arlington ISD)
    Arlington ISD Superintendent Dr. Marcelo Cavazos chats with first graders at Elizabeth Amos Elementary School students on the first day of school. (Photo: Arlington ISD)
Ken Costlow

There was a significant police presence at many of the city’s elementary schools for the first day of the 2017-18 school year Monday, but just as a precautionary measure.

As Arlington ISD Superintendent Dr. Marcelo Cavazos went across the city visiting schools at all three levels, the Arlington Police were also out at the schools to assure youngsters that they should feel safe in the buildings they will occupy for the next nine months.

“Safety should be an everyday habit,” Lt. David Stevens, the Arlington Police Youth Services Commander, said. “We want our students to exercise good safety habits on the first day of school, throughout the year and for the rest of a lifetime.”

Patrol officers were working in conjunction with Arlington ISD security personnel to monitor for potential difficulties and opportunities to ensure a safe environment all over the city’s campuses.

Among the areas undergoing scrutiny are the school zones and school bus stops on the city streets.

“Pedestrian safety is one of our biggest challenges,” Sgt. Michael Leonesio said. “We’re asking everyone to be extra vigilant in school zones.”

It’s also an opportunity to remind drivers that state law requires them to come to a full stop on both sides of the street when a school bus is flashing its red lights and its stop sign is deployed.

Among other precautions that the Arlington Police are hoping young students will adhere to are keeping valuable items, such as cell phones and iPads, in a secure location and never left in backpacks and purses unattended.

They should also never walk alone to and from school, and to use the crosswalks at intersections. They should also be wary of strangers offering rides and to tell a trusted adult if one is offered.

On campus, the AISD Resource Officers will also be working in partnership with programs like the High School Citizens Police Academy, Explorers and Hometown Recruiting to help students learn more about working with the police.

The AISD has also formed a new working relationship with the Arlington Boys and Girls Clubs to provide afterschool activities for students.