A Texas school district has assembled a SWAT team to bolster school safety, local NBC affiliate KVEO reports. The decision comes after the Dec. 14 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Following the Connecticut massacre, the Edinburg Consolidated Independent School District dispatched police officers to all its elementary schools in order to strengthen security.
Though the project, dubbed Operation Safeguard, was suspended in January after Edinburg CISD police chief Rick Perez announced schools were safe, the district decided to put together a special SWAT — Special Weapons And Tactics — unit to prepare for potential future threats.
According to school officials, the district’s proximity to the United States-Mexico border was also a factor in the decision, ABC affiliate KRGV reports.
The 12-member SWAT team began training in February and runs practice drills, such as staging an active shooter situation, at least once per month.
According to the Valley Town Crier, each SWAT member — armed with a M4 Carbine assault rifle — will be placed at a school in the district. If a situation arises, team members will respond to the location of the threat.
However, Perez says the specially trained officers will not regularly patrol school campuses with the high-powered firearms.
“Those types of weapons are only utilized in a circumstance as it arises,” Perez told the Valley Town Crier. “We’re not going to be walking around campuses with them but we base the need for our equipment as the situation occurs.”