Reporter Mark David Smith is participating in the Keller Police Department’s Citizen Police Academy, which runs from Jan. 27 - April 14. The CPA is not open to the general public, but students must apply and be approved. Not everything covered in the classroom can be published here.
Active shooter response and school resource officer operations “go hand-in-hand.”
And it can be a grim and saddening piece of police work.
Keller Police Officer Michael Fejes, school resource officer at Keller High School, took us through police preparation and protocol for school shootings.
“I tell you this because this stuff is out there,” Fejes said after going over past school shootings in the country, including Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech and Columbine. There were videos and graphic descriptions about the disturbing cases.
Fejes used to be a middle school resource officer, which he described being more “interactive” with the students.
“Now, my primary role is to eliminate threats,” he said.
Police response has changed over the years to waste less time, Fejes said.
Fejes said he wants Keller schools to adopt the “Run, Hide, Fight” program in the event of a school shooting. The basic principle is run away from the shooter, but if you can’t run, hide, and if you can’t hide, fight.
Fejes discussed other issues at the high school, and much of them stem from social media. Fejes is not the first KPD officer to warn the CPA about social media.
“Social media is killing me — it’s killing everybody up there,” Fejes said, adding that cyberbullying is easy and can escalate quickly. “There always have been and always will be bullies, but now there’s cyberbullies.”
Fejes warned about Snapchat, a popular social media app that allows one person to send a photo to someone else, and a few seconds later it will disappear. Lots of high school kids, all around, not just in Keller, send nude or pornographic images to each other, through Snapchat and other media forms.
There are apps that, and other ways, to save Snapchats, though. And that’s what enables embarrassing photos to be sent around school and between schools.
“The moment you hit send, it’s gone forever,” Fejes said. “You’re not getting it back. Whether it’s something you said or something you did, that’s the price of doing business on social media.”
There’s also a criminal risk with some of these images, which may be considered child pornography.
One problem that has improved at the high school, Fejes said, is drugs.
“We have changed the drug culture up there,” he said.
Narcotics canines are brought in during school, and Fejes said he’s “very happy” with the decrease in drugs found.
Fejes settled some worries, saying that these issues only involve a small percentage of the 2,700 kids at Keller High.
On the docket next week: animal services, jail operations and public safety dispatch.
Mark David Smith, 817-390-7808