Nacogdoches - A bond between school districts and law enforcement is important more than ever before because of the rise in school mass shootings at public schools.
Nacogdoches ISD, as well as other school districts across East Texas, used the summer to strengthen that relationship.
There's no denying it. School mass shootings are on the minds of just about everyone as preparations begin for the start-up of school. Certainly, it is for Alton Frailey, the interim Nacogdoches ISD superintendent.
"I look forward to a productive year of prevention versus recovery, said Frailey at a first responders appreciation breakfast hosted by the school district.
Nacogdoches ISD police and other law enforcement have always had mutual training sessions, but in light of gun violence, the training is noticed more frequently.
Most recently active shooter training in schools has occurred across the nation. Nacogdoches is no exception.
"Even though you know it's training, you just get caught up in it," said Nacogdoches ISD Police Chief Sandra Murray. "And you would respond the same way you would in an actual emergency."
Staff and faculty are in their classrooms now preparing for students. Next week they'll pause for preparations on how to respond during a critical event.
"We'll begin Monday. We will go to each and every campus, pre-K thru 12th and train them what to do in the event of different emergencies," Murray explained.
The work and training provide confidence among school district leaders that the safety of Nacogdoches schools is paramount to law enforcement.
Nacogdoches ISD Board President Pam Fitch told law enforcement, "It takes a special person to be able to run into the trouble, instead of run away from the trouble. And I want to acknowledge that and thank you for that."
Even a shared meal is an extension to all the training. It creates a dialogue when times are good, but provides a face with a name when events get tense.
Nacogdoches ISD faculty and staff reported to work today. August 27 is the first day of school.