HUTTO, Texas — Keeping kids safe – it's what school resource officers (SRO) and teachers are tasked with.
SROs and teachers from across Texas came to Hutto Wednesday for training from a special organization called Law Enforcement Against Drugs, or LEAD.
LEAD is a nation-wide program that teaches officers and educators about how to communicate with kids.
There goes the saying: practice makes perfect. This is why Sgt. Robert Fox from Liberty Hill and the other law enforcement officers went to the LEAD training.
The officers taking part in the five-day course have never taught inside a school before. Others were able to take a one-day course and learn the new material that they needed without the background skills the others need.
"This is the largest LEAD training that we've had in the state of Texas," said Liberty Hill Police Chief Maverick Campbell. "This is the five-day course, yes. We just completed two, one-day courses with very large groups."
Chief Campbell helped organize the LEAD training session in Hutto. Their goal was to get more officers and educators aware of these skills.
"I don't know a district that doesn't have any issues," said Chief Campbell. "I don't know a city that doesn't have an issue with drug abuse or violence. So the first step is admitting we have an issue and a problem, and the next step is how are we gonna address it. And this program does just that. It also includes components of bullying, making good decisions, and knowing what decisions result in consequences."
Every officer is taught a script that ensures they're communicating effectively. This is to ensure the program stays "evidence-based."
"That's maintaining the integrity, and the fidelity and keeping the evidence base of the program," said Lisa Remick, the VP of LEAD.
Remick said the program has been tested scientifically and students have been surveyed to prove that the program works.
The purpose remains practicing how they would talk to students, to try and make things perfect.
"If we can save one life, one teenager, one child life from drug abuse ... or even one life from suicide, in the state of Texas we've accomplished our goal," said Chief Campbell.
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