Texas Emergency Management ONLINE 2013 Vol. 60 No. 10

Humble ISD Emergency Operations Center

Education Building

On September 10th, Chief Nim Kidd along with State Coordinator Jay Hall (Region 2) and District Coordinator Jenniffier Hawes (DDC 16) toured the new Humble ISD Emergency Operations Center. The new building houses the Humble Independent School District (ISD) Safe & Secure Schools as well as the Humble ISD Police Department.

The new facility allows police officers to monitor every building in the district at all times. In the event of an emergency, there is a conference room with data and communications infrastructure for emergency management. Humble ISD Police Dispatch also can communicate with all responding agencies thanks to a state-of-the-art communications console, which was obtained through a federally funded Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools (REMS) grant.

Department of Education Logo

The REMS grant program is managed by the U.S. Department of Education and supports local education agencies (LEAs) nationwide to "create, strengthen, and improve emergency management plans at the district and school-building levels, including training school personnel on emergency management procedures; communicating with parents about emergency plans and procedures; and coordinating with local law enforcement, public safety or emergency management, public health, and mental health agencies and local government."

In Texas, every school district and public junior college is required to adopt and implement a multihazard emergency operations plan. According to Texas Education Code, Section 37, the plan "must address mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery." Among other requirements, the plan must include emergency response training for district employees as well as drills and exercises designed to teach students and staff how to respond in the event of an emergency.

Texas School SafetyCenter Logo

School districts and public junior colleges also must conduct a safety and security audit at least once every three years. Audit results must be reported to the Texas School Safety Center (TxSSC), an official university-level research center at Texas State University. TxSSC, created in 1999 by former Governor George W. Bush and authorized by the 77nd Texas Legislature in 2001, serves "schools and communities to create safe, secure and healthy environments."

TxSSC is mandated by Texas Education Code, Section 37 to provide support and services for students, educators, administrators, campus-based law enforcement, state agencies and other organizations in their effort to increase health, safety and security in Texas schools. TxSSC divisions include a research center, education and training, tobacco prevention and business services. TxSSC provides the support and guidance for school districts and public junior colleges in order to prepare and report their security and safety audits, as required by state law.

Along with the new Emergency Operations Center, the Humble ISD also installed new security vestibules in 18 district elementary schools over the summer. All visitors must have their identification scanned and be physically signed in before they are allowed entrance into the school. Humble ISD plans to have similar vestibules installed at all their school campuses. 

Information and photos for this article were provided courtesy of The Atascosity Oberserver.

Other links:
Texas Education Code, Chapter 37
Humble ISD Emergency Operations Center Opens
U.S. Department of Education, REMS
Texas School Safety Center

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