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Meet one Fort Worth school resource officer who shares his commitment on protecting schools in the district

"I'm here before school starts in the morning," said Officer Judd. The 15-year veteran wants nothing more than to make sure the school building he works in is safe.

FORT WORTH, Texas — Part of the agenda for a Fort Worth council work session included talks about the city's school resource officer unit. 

Part of the responsibility of Fort Worth Police Chief Neil Noakes is to assign officers and leadership to the school resource officer unit. After the deadly shootings in Uvalde last month, school safety has never been more important. 

The city contracts with several districts providing on-campus officers, who like Fort Worth Officer Ethan Judd, know parents are relying on like never before.

"I'm here before school starts in the morning," said Judd.

As a 15-year veteran, Judd wants nothing more than to make sure the school building he works in is safe.

Last October, Judd accepted a new assignment at Arlington Heights High School as one of the resource officers. The school is a multi-purpose campus with four different buildings to patrol, along with athletic areas. Judd is one of two officers assigned to Arlington Heights. 

"It's one that I've decided to take on," Judd said. "And I'm committed every day to be here and making this place as safe as possible. That doesn't mean that I don't have concerns."

His concerns have grown since the Uvalde tragedy. 

Just like every school district across the country, law enforcement leaders will likely evaluate safety measures for school buildings as part of security.

When Arlington Heights students return next school year, they'll notice remote-controlled door locks. Judd also shared how the exterior doors will require electronic pass keys. 

There are also more cameras being installed to give police more eyes around campus. But Judd knows his best eyes and ears will come from students he gets to know. 

"Once you get to know them and they get to know you, you develop a really good rapport," said Judd.

School resource officers do so much more than just provide safety and security for faculty, teachers and students. Their responsibility in some cases is to provide a variety of educational programs to students, such as gang deterrence and drug avoidance. 

Furthermore, due to their knowledge of student culture, SROs are valuable resources to investigators and to officers during field investigations.

"As a police officer for the City of Fort Worth, I say the biggest thing I want them to know is that we're committed," Judd said. "We are committed to being here. We're committed to providing the best police service."

   

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