Local Authorities Ramp Up Security At Desert Schools

Carmela Karcher

“Why are we in such pain? Why are we so violent? Why? Why? Why?”

Wendy Roberts, a local parent, is asking simple questions with no simple answers in the wake of the tragedy in Texas.

Here in the Coachella Valley, law enforcement is ramping up school patrols.

“During the daytime when the kids are in school, we are going to be there as much as we can be throughout the day,” Palm Springs Police Department Public Information Officer Sergeant Mike Casavan explained. “We are hoping that with our vehicles present and with our officers in the car that it would act as a deterrent should someone want to try to take those kinds of actions like what happened in Texas.”

All three desert school districts are also taking more steps to harden their safety and disaster preparedness.

And the parents we spoke with are in support.

“Everyone needs to protect human life,” Roberts continued. “So whatever we have to do to do that, I’m all for. It makes me feel comforted. At least we’re awake, alert and doing something to protect, you know, my child, other children. And you know the teachers.”

All 23 schools in Indio already have a police presence, but in the wake of these kinds of tragedies makes them more determined to keep students safe and reassure parents.

“What this does to us is keeps us mindful of what we have, and what we need to improve, or what we need to be more alert on,” Benjamin Guitron, Public Information Officer with the Indio Police Department, shared. “That’s what it does for us. And that’s what we’re doing.”

But, there’s a bigger message that police departments want to emphasize.

“If they see something, they need to say something,” Guitron continued. “If they know something that’s going on, something stressing their students, their kids, or college students on anything that they know about, they need to report it because those are the first indications.”

“A lot of times, it could be a rumor or something like that, but we’re able to dispel those,” Casavan said. “So if you see something or you hear something, give us a call. Because you never know what it could lead to.”

It’s important that parents talk with their children so they can understand why there is extra police presence around their school.

Here are some tips for parents and teachers on different ways you can talk to children about violence: https://www.nasponline.org/resources-and-publications/resources-and-podcasts/school-safety-and-crisis/school-violence-resources/talking-to-children-about-violence-tips-for-parents-and-teachers

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