Law enforcement officers in the Houston Independent School District and across the country will be celebrated for their service and sacrifice as part of National Police Week on May 9-15.
HISD police officers’ duties include everything from keeping campuses safe to providing crucial assistance at sporting events and food distributions to serving as mentors to students – and more. Their efforts make a huge difference on every aspect of the district.
Houston Independent School District Police Department K-9 Bjorn will receive a bullet and stab protective vest thanks to a charitable donation from non–profit organization Vested Interest in K9s, Inc.
K-9 Bjorn’s vest will be embroidered with “In honor of Haley’s 21st Birthday.” Delivery is expected within 10 weeks.
Vested Interest in K9s, Inc., established in 2009, is a 501(c)(3) charity whose mission is to provide bullet and stab protective vests and other assistance to dogs of law enforcement and related agencies throughout the United States.
Students from across the district participated in a virtual conversation with the HISD Police Department’s C.O.R.E Team that focused on the importance of relational policing between police and youth.
During the event, Let’s Talk: Youth Promoting Social Action, more than 150 students from HISD’s mentorship programs, Ascending to Men Project (ATMP) and the Resilient Outstanding Sisters Exemplifying Success (ROSES), engaged in dialogue and asked officers questions about how to best establish relationships with local police.
According to Officer Odell McKinney, building relationships based on trust and understanding leads to strong partnerships between officers and students that help solve problems, break barriers, and create positive environments.
To shed the negative image that often comes with wearing a
badge, HISD Police Chief Pedro Lopez Jr. is following the lead of police chiefs
nationwide to bring relational policing into HISD classrooms and neighborhoods.
That idea, along with a recent significant boost in
department funding, paved the way for the district’s new police community
outreach team CORE (Community Outreach Responsive Engagement).
“We are determined to go out into the communities, build
back those relationships and bridge that gap that has increasingly widened with
what has been happening throughout the country,” said HISD Police Officer
Steven Bennett, who is one of the six officers serving on the CORE team. “We
just want to get out there and do everything we can to repair this relationship
between the community and law enforcement.”
The Houston Independent School District announced the return of the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) program to select HISD schools at a press conference on Monday.
“I am so very excited about D.A.R.E. returning to HISD,” Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan said. “We are determined to ensure that all students not only receive a quality education but that they come to school not under the influence and prepared to receive that quality education.”
In partnership with state
Rep. Jarvis Johnson, D.A.R.E. America, the HISD Police Department, and the
Houston Police Department, the program will initially train 35 HISD
PD officers and seven HPD officers on
teaching evidence-based prevention education curricula to students.
Houston Independent School District’s new police chief, Pedro “Pete” Lopez, Jr.
was sworn in Tuesday during an official ceremony where he took the oath of
office at the district’s Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center.
chief’s wife took part in the ceremonial badge-pinning portion of the event.
Houston Municipal Courts Director and Presiding Judge J. Elaine Marshall
administered the oath of office.
comes to HISD after 32 years of law enforcement experience, with 29 of those
years spent serving the Houston Police Department, where he rose from the rank
of patrol officer to assistant chief of Patrol Region 1. He has also served
with the Harris County Sheriff’s Department and Texas Department of
The Houston Independent
School District has named Pedro Lopez Jr., a Houston Police Department
assistant chief with 32 years of experience, as the new chief of the HISD
spent 29 of his 32 years in law enforcement with HPD, moving up the ranks from
patrol officer to his current position as the assistant chief for Patrol Region
1. He has also served with the Harris County Sheriff’s Department and Texas
Department of Corrections.
fortunate to have a law enforcement veteran with the experience, training and
expertise of Chief Lopez join our district and lead our police department of
more than 200 officers,” HISD Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan said. “We
know he will do a great job protecting our students, staff and campuses as we
work to educate, train and support our global scholars.”
Feeding more than 10,000 families five days a week during a
pandemic is no easy task. It’s an effort that requires the collaboration of
multiple departments across the district to bring it all together.
In just over a month, HISD — working together with the
Houston Food Bank — has distributed 2 million pounds of food to more than
60,000 families. That range spans from March 14 through April 18.
“I appreciate the spotlight we’ve received, but it’s not
just us,” HISD Nutrition Services Officer Betti Wiggins said, referencing the
child nutrition department she leads. “We couldn’t have accomplished this
without the help of Community Partnerships and HISD Police.”
HISD PD is nation’s only accredited school district law enforcement agency
The Houston Independent School District Police Department and a team of assessors from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) will host a public forum as part of the department’s re-accreditation process.
The HISD Police Department became the first school district law enforcement agency in the nation to achieve CALEA accreditation in 2008. This year, the department is seeking its eighth renewal.