TCU, area schools share similar policies for handling suspicious people

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After a series of incidents involving a mentally ill man near TCU’s campus, the university sent out a campus wide crime alerts – one of its strategies for handling suspicious people around campus.
A TCU crime alert stated that Daniel Staley was detained in the 2800 block of McCart Avenue, Dec. 24  after texted a hotline and wrote that he wanted to dismember a random woman. He was released after a psychological evaluation on Jan. 6.
He was later arrested Jan. 9 for burglary at the University of North Texas Health Science Center.
TCU police detective Robert Rangel said university police sent out the crime alert because Staley was in the TCU area when he made the threats.
Rangel said if Staley had been seen on campus, TCU Police would have responded and potentially put the area on lockdown until he was in custody. However, it’s unlikely that this type of situation would result in a lockdown, Rangel said.
“Every situation is subjective,” Rangel said. “It would have to be an immediate and active threat.”
TCU police shut down part of University Drive for precautionary measures last year after a suspicious package was found for precautionary measures.
The Fort Worth school district has similar policies for training for incidents and have security measures to keep students safe from intruders, said Clint Bond, a spokesperson for the district.
Bond said all 83 elementary schools have a buzzer system that controls entry into campus buildings. Visitors can only be buzzed in after their driver’s license is scanned against the sex offender registry. Security is alerted if people are found to be on the list.
Bond said the district is working on implementing this system into its other campuses.
He talked about some of the emergency situations that occurred in high schools last month.
Arlington Heights High School responded to an off campus shooting that occurred at nearby McDonald’s restaurant Dec. 3. The principal was informed of the situation and put the building on lockdown to make sure the suspect couldn’t take refuge at the school.
The following week, a 16-year-old O.D. Wyatt High School student was stabbed by another student, WFAA reported. Bond said adults in the room handled the event “in seconds” and the school did not go on lockdown.
Bond said FWISD’s security procedures are evaluated after every incident. Neither of the two high school emergencies called for a change in protocols.
He also said that the school district has universal training to help keep children safe called “Know The Plan.” According to the FWISD website, this training is for emergency prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery.
According to “Know The Plan,” prevention involves reporting suspicious activity when sighted. Preparedness is about knowing what to do in situations like natural disasters. Responses include lockdown, building evacuation, reverse evacuation, and shelter-in-place procedures, and recovery uses Student Support Services to help students feel safe again.
“We use every opportunity to teach our kids about stranger danger,” Bond said.