Gov. Greg Abbott today sent Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) director Steve McCrow, Texas Education Agency (TEA) commissioner Mike Morat and Texas Higher Education Coordinating Council (THECB) commissioner Harrison Koehler to expand and accelerate their efforts to advance. the ability to report suspicious activity known to students, staff and families through the iWatchTexas reporting system. iWatchTexas is a partnership between communities and law enforcement that makes it easier for the public to report suspicious activity in the state, including criminal, terrorist, or school threats.
“One of the recommendations provided by the Secret Service to stop the wave of violence at school is for those who witness the disturbing behavior to report it to the relevant authorities so that the intervention can take place before the mass attack begins,” the letter said. “Texas began implementing this recommendation after the tragic attack in El Paso on September 5, 2019, when I issued GA-07 order to prevent mass attacks. We need to accelerate these efforts to build a network of schools that are well aware of information about suspicious activities. This requires doubling our efforts on the important work outlined in GA-07, and ensuring a robust deployment of the iWatch program, which reaches communities and school districts across the state. To achieve this goal, I I direct DPS, TEA and THECB to improve and accelerate your efforts to make widely known and readily available the opportunity to report suspicious activity known to students, staff and families in iWatch. Efforts should include working with eight government synthesis centers and with all school districts to educate students, staff, and families about the Texas Suspicious Reporting Program, known as iWatchTexas. Behavioral reporting is a key component of School Safety Intervention Strategies, and it is only through our joint efforts that we will succeed. ”
Read the governor’s letter.
Texans can report suspicious activity on iwatchtx.org, via the iWatchTexas mobile app, or by calling 844-643-2251. Messaging through any of these channels can be anonymous.
Learn more about iWatch.
Governor Abbott has taken significant steps to provide all available resources to support the Uwalde community following the tragic shooting at Rob Elementary School. These actions include:
- Initiate a comprehensive Texas state plan to assist and support community members, including co-locating government officials at the Family Assistance Center for prompt assistance in seeking benefits.
- Issuance of a declaration of natural disasters at the request of local leaders to expedite all available state and local resources to help the Uwalde community.
- Request Texas legislators to convene special legislative committees to begin studying and developing legislative guidelines on school safety, mental health, social media, police training, firearms safety, etc.
- Managing the Texas School Safety Center (TxSSC) to immediately begin conducting comprehensive school safety reviews to ensure that all Texas public schools follow appropriate procedures for maximum school safety.
- Managing the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to provide strategies to make Texas public schools safer through increased safety standards.
- Guidelines for Advanced Law Enforcement Response Training (ALERRT) to ensure the training of all school districts across the state, giving priority to law enforcement activities in schools.
- Investing an initial $ 5 million in the creation of a long-term Family Sustainability Center (FRC) in Uwalde County, which will serve as a hub for public services, including access to critical mental health resources.
Collaborate with the OneStar Foundation to create a single web page for donations to support the families of victims, teachers and the Uwalde community.