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Home | Tag Archives: episd pd

Tag Archives: episd pd

Video+Story: EPISD, TxDOT Caution Drivers: School Zones Active Beginning Monday

EPISD Police Services and the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) teamed up Friday at Cooley Elementary School to remind drivers about school zone traffic laws and how they apply beginning on Monday, the first day of school.

“We are proud of our effective partnership with EPISD and their effective traffic safety efforts,” said Jennifer Wright, TxDOT public affairs officer. “Pay attention, stay off cellphones and watch out for buses and kids. We also want parents to have a conversation with their children about traffic safety: cross only in at intersections and designated crosswalks, make eye contact with drivers before crossing and look before getting out of the vehicle.”

EPISD Police are certified Texas peace officers and patrol campuses throughout the District to enforce traffic laws.

“We all have to work collectively to make sure everyone is safe going to and coming from school,” said EPISD officer Raul Ramos. “We will be enforcing all traffic laws, so we want to inform the public on how to avoid causing any accidents.”

The three most common violations officers encounter in school zones are speeding, passing and distracted drivers. The officers coordinated a demonstration to dispel any confusion about what is considered passing.

“A lot of people think it’s okay to pass in a school zone as long as you stay under 15 miles, but that is incorrect. If your front bumper breaks the plane of the vehicle next to you, that is considered passing,” Ramos said. “If you are passing another vehicle, you cannot see if there is a child in the crosswalk.”

For more safety tips and information, visit TxDoT’s or EPISD websites.

Story by Alicia Chumley | Photos by Leonel Monroe Jr. | Video by EPISD

Grant Helps EPISD Police Buy New Bulletproof Vests

EPISD Police now carry rifle resistant body armor capable of withstanding the impact of high-caliber firearms. The new tool in the officers’ arsenal can protect theirs and other lives.

The need for these vests, and the grant funding to purchase 50,000 statewide, came in response to the 2016 Dallas shooting which left five officers dead. The officers’ vests failed to protect them from shots of a high-powered rifle.

“The standard body armor will handle a handgun rounds,” EPISD Police Chief Victor Araiza said. “And unfortunately, rifles are becoming very prominent in our culture. There have been a lot of rifles used in a mass shooting events.”

Araiza felt it important to pay tribute to the officers whose lives were lost on July 7 in Dallas.

Each of EPISD’s 44 officers affixed a sticker on their new vests with the badges and names of the fallen officers. A quote honors their service and sacrifice: “Gone but not forgotten. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

“The lives lost that day were not in vain,” Araiza said. “They will go on to save other officers.”

The Governor’s Office recognized that rifle resistant body armor was not prevalent throughout the state and grant funding was established through the passage of Senate Bill 12.

“We and other departments were able to apply for this grant and given our responsibilities we were fortunate to have been funded,” Araiza said.

The department received a grant for $20,425 and added $7,000 in matching funds to ensure all officers received the new vest.

Officers are currently being trained to use the heavier equipment, which also includes pockets for first aid supplies and tourniquets. The officer’s blood type also is stitched on a label prominently displayed on the vest.

“This gives the officers the ability to go in to an active shooter scenario and address the situation knowing that that body armor that they have will stop that bullets being fired at them,” Araiza said. “We can also use it to shield someone that we’re attempting to rescue. It’s a huge benefit and it will save lives and can protect not only our officers, but those we serve.”

 Story by Reneé de Santos  |  Photo by Leonel Monroy – EPISD

Video+Story: EPISD PD, PetSmart Partner to Put Smiles on Children in Need

PetSmart can’t provide live puppies to help sick children and the victims of crime, so they instead donated hundreds of stuffed animals to the El Paso Independent School District Police Services Department to distribute to those in need.

Officers from EPISD’s K-9 unit picked up more than 1,100 stuffed animals donated by customers of the store in the Fountains at Farah.

Giant bags and several shopping carts full of soft, cuddly toys sat in front of the story as the officers and their canine partners posed for pictures with the staff before hauling them off. The store hopes at least another 900 are donated through the remainder of the holidays.

“It was amazing when they told us the amount of stuff animals they collected,” said Officer John Dominguez. “We’re very thankful to PetSmart and their staff. This is going to make a difference.”

EPISD Police will be taking the donation to the Child Advocacy Center, the Children’s Hospital at Providence and Lee & Beulah Moore Children’s Home this holiday season.

“We also will be providing toys for children who are victims of crimes,” Dominguez said. “Every unit will have a couple toys in the police car to give to children when there is need. It is going to make a difference to them – just to put a smile on their face and know we’re there to help. It will give them security and make them feel more safe.”

Shauntel Caballero, associate store leader, said each store does a similar drive but the benefactors vary. EPISD Police purchases their canine supplies from Pet’s Mart at the Fountains, so the partnership seemed to be a perfect fit.

“The customers love it,” Caballero said. “They think it’s a great idea and some even buy one of each of the five stuffed animals to donate.”

The stuffed animals range from $5 to $8.99 and have been on sale since early November.

“The sale of the stuffed animals not only goes to the EPISD Police, but $1 of it goes to our charity fund,” Caballero said. “We deal with multiple shelters. Non-kill is our goal, so $1 goes to the charities for food and anything the shelters need to keep the animals alive.”

Author: Reneé de Santos /Photos by Leonel Monroy, EPISD

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