Posted: Jan 7, 2013 5:45 PM
Updated: Jan 7, 2013 11:37 PM
EDINBURG - Edinburg Consolidated Independent School District officials announced they've suspended Operation Safeguard.
The security program was put in place after the massacre in Newtown, Conn. Police officers were dispatched to all Edinburg elementary schools before the holiday break.
The district's police chief on Monday said that the elementary schools are safe.
"If we need to activate, all it is, is just an order and officers will go back to their regular post," ECISD Police Chief Rick Perez said.
Perez said his officers learned a lot while working at the elementary schools. He said the officers became familiarized with the layouts of the schools, entry and exit points and security concerns that must be addressed.
"There's always room for improvement," Perez said.
He said the district's 34,000 students will continue participating in emergency drills. Perez said his department updated its security policy.
Fourth-grader Kayla Casas remembers the police officer who visited her school before the Christmas break.
"I was all nervous and scared," Kayla said.
The officer's presence soon turned into a sense of security for Kayla and other students.
"It's a team effort for all of us to keep not only our students safe, but our community safe," Perez said.
"Our teachers make us go in the bottom of our desks and locks the door and everything," Kayla said.
ECISD has 40 police officers and 40 security guards. The Hidalgo County Sheriff's Department and Edinburg Police also patrol the schools.