ROUND ROCK, Texas (KXAN) — As the new Round Rock ISD police chief, Dennis Weiner brings years of experience from his previous job at the School District of Palm Beach County in Florida — one of the nation’s largest school districts.
He’s only been the RRISD chief for a month, but he’s been busy evaluating the safety and security of all of the schools and consulting with experts.
“Last week, we started with security surveys,” said Weiner. “We had a third party entity come in to evaluate all of our security profiles, so everything from physical security to procedures, and they’re going campus to campus and evaluating for us.”
The goal is simple: “to give us a snapshot of where are we today, and help us identify gaps, help us identify in the future where we want to focus our efforts,” he said.
Weiner is moving forward with new ideas and plans.
“One thing I noticed here is a need, a desire to have a robust unification plan. Not that the principals weren’t thinking about it. They had concepts on how they would do it, but I don’t want to rely on concepts. I want to have a mapped-out plan, so everyone understands what their piece and part is in that,” Weiner said.
Weiner said the district isn’t waiting for an emergency to happen. There are new security improvements in place at schools to deter an attack — from bullet resistant film on school windows, panic buttons in portables, security cameras and an alert system.
“We have an emergency broadcast system now at all of our campuses,” said Weiner. “We can put messages out through different media to make sure we are getting messages out to all our students and staff, and we also have capability to push out to parents as well to keep them informed.”
The chief is confident his police force can quickly respond to any emergency, but he’s wanting to add more officers to make a team of 30.
“If any campus calls 911 today, we have a good response. That’s not my concern. My concern is about what else can we be doing on campuses to help enhance security, the soft touch. For that, we need more officers. We need to be interacting more with students, understanding their concerns and working with staff.”