SANTA FE SHOOTING: How school security has changed one year later

SANTA FE, Texas (KTRK) -- A year after 10 were killed, Santa Fe ISD has made a number of security changes, and is eyeing even more.

May 18 marks a year since the Santa Fe High School shooting, a tragedy Santa Fe ISD police chief Walter Braun can't get over.

"Nothing can prepare you for the devastation in a school," Braun said.

A year later, he's trying to make sure it doesn't happen again. "Pretty much haven't stopped," Braun said.

In all, the district said it spent around $3 million on security improvements this past year.

They added 20 full-time and part-time officers, as well as security assistants, 256 cameras, social media monitoring, panic alarms, and a facial recognition system.

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Even more is on the way. The district is adding an employee to monitor cameras, and an app for staff to signal trouble.

"There's always more that we would like to see and do, but we also have to consider the reasonableness of how much it costs," Santa Fe ISD Superintendent Dr. Leigh Wall said.

In addition to security, the district has also learned from mistakes this year. Parents raised concerns over how the memorial was removed, comments by security staff, and the red tiles the district placed near the shooting area.

"Yes, if I could've recreated that, and had my perfect colors in there, or design," Wall explained, "I would've definitely done that."

School leaders said they'll continue to evaluate measures well beyond the year mark to try and keep another tragedy from ever happening again.

"If evil wants to do evil, it's going to happen," Braun said. "You can take measures to mitigate it, and to prepare for it, but I don't know anybody who can truthfully tell you, you could totally prevent it."

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick released a statement on the one year anniversary of the school shooting:

"On the one-year anniversary of the tragic school shooting in Santa Fe, our hearts are still broken by this senseless act of violence. We continue to pray for the families of the victims, and for the entire Santa Fe community. Senator Larry Taylor, R-Friendswood, and I met with those families and we attended the funerals of many of the victims. I will never forget the strength and faith of the people of Santa Fe during that awful time.

"After the shooting, Gov. Abbott and I vowed that we would use every resource available to protect the students in our public schools. The Texas Senate has passed the School Safety Act which addresses many of the issues we identified in the past year to make our schools safer, including securing all entrances and providing metal detectors for the schools that want them. We have also budgeted substantial state dollars to provide mental health resources for our schools and students in an effort to prevent these tragedies going forward.

"Nothing is more important than the safety of our children. Our goal is that no child ever feels afraid at school and our prayer is that no Texas family will ever again experience the grief that followed the horrible shooting that happened a year ago, today."


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