NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Extra law enforcement patrol at schools in Nacogdoches County began Monday. The effort is to make the final weeks of classes on campus as safe as possible in light of Friday's massacre at Santa Fe High School.
Ten people were killed when a gunman opened fire.
The patrol isn't the total answer to school safety, but it's a beginning.
When Constable William Sowell steps into his patrol vehicle to circle Central Heights High School, he knows the primary reason why he's there.
"To give the students, the teachers, the faculty and the parents a little bit more peace of mind while everyone is here at school," Sowell said.
the mood at Nacogdoches ISD schools tells Chief Sandra Murray faculty and students could use some reassurance.
"I think it's a bit more subdued due to the Santa Fe incident Friday," Murray said. "Our thoughts and prayers are with them, and also, you think about what if."
With that in mind, Diamond Porter, the future president of the Nacogdoches High School Student Council, welcomes increased patrol these final weeks of school.
"I feel safer knowing that there's another source of protection going on," Porter said.
student council historian Emily Ponce, the NHS Student Council historian and public relations officer, asked why active shooter drills or lockdown drills aren't conducted more frequently.
"We do have maybe two or three a year, but we have way more fire drills than we do have the others," Ponce said.
the student council's platform for next year addresses kindness. Lithany Hernandez, the NHS Student Council secretary-elect, sees it as much as prevention to school shootings as extra patrols.
"And I feel like that's why many people are doing the things that they are doing because they don't have anyone," Hernandez said.
A school shooting that happened just hours away creates dialogue. It creates action. It provides a reminder, again.
"It seems to hit home more than if it was somewhere across the country, but you know, the world we live in it can happen anywhere," Sowell said.
This summer, a security response protocol will be enacted at schools throughout Nacogdoches County. It will be the first time ever all the schools will be on board with the same crisis management plan.