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Mayor creates safety task force
Following recent school shootings across the country, as well as deaths of local teens, Mayor John Terrell began to spearhead a task force to address concerns.
"The city of Southlake and CISD are known for their proactive and innovative planning," Terrell said. "The recent national and local tragic events, including the Newtown tragedy and several drug related deaths and suicides, heightened our awareness of these issues and was the catalyst to re-examine our own contingency plans and programs."
The task force is made up of city elected officials and staff, Carroll ISD elected officials and staff, law enforcement professionals, Crime Control Board members, SPARK representatives and members of Southlake's faith-based community. Its goals are to identify issues that impact the safety and well being of children in Southlake and to take appropriate actions to address those issues.
"Right now, we are in the process of evaluating threats and making recommendations on potential solutions," Terrell said.
Terrell said he hopes the task force will increase not only awareness, but the involvement of the entire community of Southlake. He said a solution comes from a community recognizing there is a problem and working together to find and implement a solution.
"The parents and kids in our community need to take an active role in this program. Without their involvement and commitment, any potential solution will not be successful," Terrell said. "One of the strengths of our community is involvement. Every citizen in Southlake needs to step up and make this their issue to solve."
At some point, the task force will be forced to address funding for new safety measures that could be implemented. But right now, Terrell said that's not at the top of the list of concerns.
"While finances are always an important factor in any decision, the safety and well being of our kids is the primary concern," Terrell said. "Once we determine what the recommended solutions are, we will figure out how to fund it."
Terrell said currently, the city works closely with CISD to ensure the safety of students, including providing three school resource officers on CISD campuses.
"Our law enforcement officials also have a close working relationship with CISD administrators and meet often to discuss strategic planning," Terrell said. "So far, my discussions with numerous parents about the task force have been very positive and supportive."