• Ask the Chief

    QQ. Are traffic and criminal laws applicable on Santa Fe I.S.D school campuses and property?
    Yes they are. Per Section 37.101 of the Texas Education Code, the criminal laws of the State apply in the areas under the control and jurisdiction of the board of trustees of any school district in this state.

    Section 37.102 notes that a law or ordinance regulating traffic on a public highway or street applies to the operation of a vehicle on school property.
    2)QQ: By what authority can the SFISD Police Department cite parking violations on campus?
    A. Per Section 37.102 of the Texas Education Code, the board of trustees of a school district may adopt rules for the safety and welfare of students, employees, and property and other rules it considers necessary to carry out this subchapter and the governance of the district, including rules providing for the operation and parking of vehicles on school property. The board may adopt and charge a reasonable fee for parking and for providing traffic control. A person who violates this subchapter or any rule adopted under this subchapter commits an offense. An offense under this section is a Class C misdemeanor.
    3)QQ: Why did the police stop allowing students and parents from crossing Warpath between FBI and the HEB parking lot?
    A: The answer to that question is twofold. First and foremost is that it is unsafe for pedestrians to cross between the standing and moving vehicles. As everyone knows who frequent Warpath in the mornings and at dismissal time in the afternoon, the traffic flow is extremely heavy in both directions at peak times. Secondly, it is illegal for pedestrians to cross a roadway except at a designated point or crosswalk.

    Parents who utilize the HEB parking lot as a drop off or pickup point, are encouraged to have their children walk down to the crossing guard controlled crosswalk between the Junior High and FBI, in order to facilitate a safe crossing.
    4)QQ. Can I bring a gun on campus? What if I have a concealed handgun license?
    A; It is a felony under Texas Penal Code Statute 46.03 to bring a firearm on school property, on school buses, and at school sponsored athletic events. This prohibition extends to holders of concealed handgun licenses. All Santa Fe ISD property are considered "weapons free zones" which enhance criminal penalties.
    5)QWhy can't Warpath Dr. be changed back to a one way to help out with Kubacak traffic problems?
    For the current two way traffic flow to be changed to one-way, it would take action by the City Council of the City of Santa Fe.

    Changing to a one-way flow would lead to increased traffic congestion on Warpath for the Santa Fe Junior High School campus. Currently parents utilize both sides of the roadway for drop off, pick up, and parking.
    6)QWhat is the money collected from student parking permit fees and parking fines used for?
    All revenues received from parking permits and fines are utilized to improve and further our District wide safety and security initiatives. For example, the contracted K-9 (drug dog) services for the 2011-2012 school year, as well as traffic safety cones, signs, and equipment, are funded through this source.
    7)QWhat is the SFISD Police Department doing about gym locker room thefts at the high school?
    All reports of theft regardless of location, are thoroughly investigated by our district police department. Complainant, witness, and suspect Interviews, are routinely conducted, as well as a review of all available surveillance video. If a stolen items serial number is reported to the police by the complainant, the item is entered into the TCIC/NCIC database as stolen. A search on items pawned at area pawn shops, is conducted if warranted.

    The gym locker rooms present a challenge in the area of video surveillance. Due to federal privacy laws, the gym locker rooms have no cameras, thus no video footage is available.

    Rest assure that all cases remain active until all solvability factors are exhausted
    8)QCan a school cop stop me for a traffic violation away from school property?
    Yes, school district police officers have jurisdiction anywhere within the boundaries of Santa Fe I.S.D.'s taxing district which includes all of the City of Santa Fe, and the unincorporated areas within Galveston County which lie within the borders. This also extends to anywhere SFISD travels. For example, an on duty district police officer which travels to an out of town extracurricular event such as an away football game, has the same authority to perform their duties as they do within the confines of the district.
    9)QI see SFISD police cars out at night after school. Why is my tax money being wasted?
    The district has a patrol officer who is assigned to the evening shift. Their hours are 2pm-10pm. This officer has the responsibility of patrolling all of the district schools and facilities to safeguard students and staff, prevent acts of theft and vandalism, as well as provide police security at all district extracurricular events which are held at the various campuses during after school hours. District police officers are on call 24/7 to respond to alarm calls at all district buildings and facilities.
    10)QWhat has the school district done or changed to protect our children after the Sandy Hook incident?
    First I would like to say that our district has had a solid crisis management plan in place which includes the handling of active shooter incidents. This plan, along with training and prepositioned equipment around the district to implement the plan, has been in place long before the recently incident at Sandy Hook brought national attention to the issue of school violence.

    Our police officers have received the "Active Shooter" training course taught by instructors from the Texas ALERRT Center at Texas State University in San Marcos. The ALERRT Center developed the standardized curriculum, and leads the nationwide effort in training Federal, State, and local law enforcement officers to respond to active shooter incidents.

    District police officers actively participate in all "intruder/ lock down" drills which are held periodically at all district school campuses.

    The district police department also provides comprehensive crisis management plan training to all new teachers and staff, as well as a more condensed annual emergency procedure update to all returning staff members.

    Since Sandy Hook, our efforts have been to reexamine our plans and constantly tweak and improve our own procedures based on lessons learned.

    Rest assured, the Santa Fe ISD Police Departments number # 1 priority is to proactively protect & safeguard our students and staff, and mitigate any potential threats to our school family.