CCISD hiring armed guards ahead of new law, House Bill 3 | #schoolsaftey

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — As the fall semester begins for thousands of students Wednesday, South Texas school districts continue to look at new ways to enhance safety protocols on campus while following the new law.

Governor Greg Abbott recently signed a measure requiring an armed officer at every campus in our state. 

The Corpus Christi Independent School District has more than 50 campuses spread throughout and thousands of children to look after. 3NEWS went live at the district’s newest elementary campus, Cullen Place to find out how the district is making sure they are following the new bill.

CCISD Police Chief Kirby Warnke told 3NEWS the district was in desperate need of more officers for its elementary school campuses.

“Keeping our babies safe,” he said. “That’s what it’s about. Why do we do that? We’re gonna put an armed person there just in case someone has ill intent, they’ll be able to handle it.”

Chief Warnke has been serving the Corpus Christi Independent School District for 26 years.

“We’ve been doing bond elections for a long time,” Warnke said. “And safety has been a critical part of that.”

Since House Bill 3’s inception Chief Warnke says the police department has been working on plans to improve safety.

“We had to add 33 more full-time positions to cover our elementary campuses,” Warnke said. “We are now at 22, so we are hiring furiously.”

CCISD Officer Oliver Buendia, says House Bill 3 should give parents peace of mind.

“I think this is something they should have done a long time ago, and I’m glad it’s finally being done,” he said. “I have Gracelynn Buendia she is seven. And I have Bryce Buendia she’s four.”

Buendia is a father of two, and feels more at ease knowing there will be an armed guard at schools.

“I think every parent would feel more at ease,” he said. “They’re our future.”

Chief Warnke says the demand is high to get positions filled, but he wants quality over quantity.

“We’re going to try to get as many positions as fast as we can,” he said. “But we don’t want to rush it. We want to make sure we got the right people for the right job.”

Chief Warnke says the district’s job fairs have been essential to find qualified individuals to serve and protect the CCISD community. As of Wednesday morning, Warnke told 3NEWS there are four vacancies that still need to be filled. 

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