Project Safe Start protects kids as summer break starts

HOUSTON It's called Project Safe Start and on the last day of school this year, added security will be in place at nearly 100 schools in the greater Houston area.

School's almost out and Houston Independent School District officials are joining forces with police and community ministers to keep kids safe as they dive into summer.

Project Safe Start is in its 20th year and school leaders are touting it as a very successful program. They say in the last 20 years, there have been no incidents at all on school grounds on the last day of school.

Mounted patrol officers and command units will be out on several campuses, in addition to campus police already in place. Ministers from the community will also be visible; they'll be patrolling parking lots and walking school hallways as a warning to think twice before anyone thinks of committing a crime on campus during the last days of school.

"When the children in these schools see ministers walking the halls and they make themselves known, they know that they need to stay out of trouble because the ministers are with the police officers," Asst. Chief John Trevino of the Houston Police Department. "Action will be taken if anything happens."

Authorities will keep their eyes peeled for weapons, drugs and gangs. HISD says it will rely on its real-time security cameras, too, to catch any misbehavior.

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