Austin, TX -- Representative Steve Toth (Conroe) has introduced legislation to require Texas schools and law enforcement agencies to establish active shooter response plans. The bill calls for law enforcement agencies to conduct annual drills while also requiring law enforcement to immediately contain or eliminate a threat.
"We've seen all too many tragedies where lives could've been saved if local law enforcement agencies had coordinated plans in place," Rep. Toth said.
Montgomery County District Attorney Brett Ligon expressed his support for the bill which he said would make schools safer.
“I support all efforts to make our schools in Montgomery County a safer place for our kids to learn and grow. We live in dangerous times and we must be more proactive to protect our children from the most evil and callous of intentions," Ligon said, "I appreciate and support Representative Toth’s desire and commitment to make the schools in Montgomery County and all of Texas safer and more secure for the protection of our children.”
Representative Will Metcalf (Conroe) will be a joint-author of the bill along with Representative Cecil Bell (Magnolia).
"We can't sit idly by and let another tragedy occur. We need to take proactive steps now to mitigate and prevent future school attacks. I am proud to join Representative Toth in authoring House Bill 1042 to improve our law enforcement response to such incidents," Rep. Metcalf said.
"Montgomery County has been a leader in implementing a coordinated response plan for school safety," Rep. Bell said, "HB 1042 will allow other schools in the great state of Texas to benefit from the success found in this plan."
Montgomery County Sheriff Rand Henderson supports the language of the bill, calling it “imperative” in the effort to improve school safety response coordination.
“Preparedness, coordination, and training are essential to a multi-agency law enforcement response to an active shooter incident. Ensuring these elements are met by requiring best practices through legislation is imperative to safeguarding the lives of our children across the State of Texas,” Henderson said, “We are truly blessed the way many law enforcement agencies of Montgomery County have come together for our kids.”
Rep. Toth thanked the Montgomery County Sheriff and District Attorney for their willingness to "dive into" this issue, adding that "it's often difficult to get different agencies to come together for a situation."
"It's the very nature of government that makes collaboration difficult," Rep. Toth said, "It's exciting to see people like Dr. Null, Sheriff Henderson, and District Attorney Ligon put the interests of kids in our community at the forefront."