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UVALDE MASSACRE AFTERMATH: ZERTUCHE ADDS SECURITY MEASURES FOR ACTIVE-SHOOTER INCIDENTS ON CAMPUESES
La Salle County Sheriff Anthony Zertuche confirmed Monday, June 12, that a grant from the state of Texas will almost exactly match the expense of equipping school resource officers with protective shields.
The state funding has come in part as a result of Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s directive that schools be furnished with preventive measures, safety features and additional security to protect students and staff from violence. The order was handed down after a May 2022 incident in which 19 children and two teachers were murdered in their classrooms by a teen gunman bearing an assault rifle.
The shields will cost $65,532.
Since last summer, Cotulla ISD has made arrangements with the La Salle County Sheriff’s Office to add full-time deputies to campus patrols, assigning one to each campus as a school resource officer; and has activated its Guardian Plan, under which an undisclosed number of district employees are licensed to carry concealed handguns on campus during the school day.
The school district also asked voters on May 6 for permission to sell $5 million in bonds to fund construction of other security features to its four campuses, including secure entrance foyers, ballistic glass in all windows, and 8’ fencing around all facilities. Technology upgrades include communications and surveillance hardware.
Sheriff Zertuche and Undersheriff Rene Sobrevilla describe the protective shields they hope to supply to the school resource officers as additional safety measures. While each officer will have a protective shield, the sheriff said, a rolling barricade-like steel shield will protect up to four officers advancing towards a potentially violent suspect on any of Cotulla’s campuses.
Zertuche said the barricade shield may be transported in the back of a pickup truck for deployment where needed.
Commissioners supported the purchase unanimously on a motion by Raul Ayala, seconded by Jack Alba.