HISD police chief named to national task force to address student safety

The Council of the Great City Schools (CGCS) and the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) have partnered to launch a task force centered on identifying models for collaboration between local police and urban school districts to address the safety of students in urban areas throughout the U.S.

Houston ISD Police Chief Pedro Lopez is among seven law enforcement leaders named to the IACP-CGCS Task Force.

“Student safety is paramount and takes a collective meeting of minds to improve outcomes for our children,” said Lopez. “It is an honor to be named to this task force and work alongside police chiefs and superintendents across the country focusing on families in urban areas.”

The IACP-CGCS Task Force is composed of school superintendents and police leaders working together to develop and share tools and resources. Over the next six months, the Task Force will meet monthly to discuss the challenges facing our students and our communities and identify approaches that will allow us to improve student safety in urban areas across the country. The collective goal is to produce a blueprint that will lead to safer communities for our urban students and their families and can be a model for other jurisdictions around the U.S.

“The leaders of America’s largest urban school districts look forward to joining forces with the nation’s law enforcement professionals in this one-of-a-kind partnership aimed at serving the students and families who live in our urban communities,” said Ray Hart, executive director of the Council of the Great City Schools. “There are so many areas where schools and police intersect, and we strongly believe that this unique and collaborative effort will start the necessary conversations that ultimately lead to real change and improved outcomes in the lives of the nation’s urban schoolchildren.”

“Community-based violence as it relates to schoolchildren is an alarming reality that no child should face,” said IACP President Dwight Henninger. “It is our hope that through this partnership and task force that police leaders and school superintendents can work together to address student safety and improve the lives of children in our communities and school systems.”

The members of the IACP-CGCS Task Force are:

•          Pedro Lopez, Chief of Police, Houston Independent School District

•          Cerelyn (CJ) Davis, Chief of Police, Memphis Police Department

•          Mitchell Davis, Chief of Police, Hazel Crest Police Department

•          Joe Gothard, Superintendent, St. Paul Public Schools

•          Todd Axtell, Chief of Police, St. Paul Police Department

•          John Mina, Sheriff, Orange County Sheriff’s Office

•          Rodolfo Perez, Adjutant to the Chief of Police, Los Angeles School Police Department

•          Leslie Ramirez, Chief of Police, Los Angeles School Police Department

•          Joris Ray, Superintendent, Shelby County Schools

•          Maria Vazquez, Deputy Superintendent, Orange County Public Schools