The Gadsden Independent School District is recruiting parents to patrol schools

Anthony, New Mexico – Facing community pressure to increase the number of visible security personnel at its schools, the Gadsden Independent School District announced Thursday that it will appoint parents to patrol schools.

Supervisor Travis Dempsey calls it the POP program, or “Parents on Patrol for Schools,” and said the district will cover the costs of background checks for volunteers participating in the program.

Volunteers will not be allowed to carry weapons in school yards, but will serve as eyes and ears in schools, checking to make sure doors are shut and locked and walking around campus to report suspicious activity or direct someone to help as needed.

Dempsey announced at a community meeting in Anthony where he participated on a panel with Anna Donna County Sheriff Kim Stewart, Sgt. Arturo Guerrero of the Anthony Police Department, School Board Chair Laura Salazar Flores and Anthony City Council Member Gabriel Holguin. The event was hosted by the Women’s Multicultural Center and Save the Children Action Network.

In the wake of the May mass shooting at an elementary school in Ovalde, Texas, New Mexico’s fourth-largest school district is under pressure to provide school resource officials across its 25 sites that stretch from the San Miguel community south of Las Cruces to Sunland Park, near From El Paso, you reach as far east as Chaparral, which spans the departments of Doña Ana and Otero.

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