BRYAN, Texas — Texas DPS is sending out a reminder to students, staff and faculty about the iWatchTexas program. This program is a way for people to report suspicious activity in schools, communities and even social media that can help stop potential threats.
“School safety is a top priority for DPS, and iWatchTexas makes it easier for people to report anything suspicious that may indicate a potential threat,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw.
Tips to iWatchTexas can be made on its website, by downloading the iWatchTexas app or by calling 844-643-2251. All reports made to iWatchTexas are confidential. People can make reports of anything suspicious they see and that information is then added to the Texas School Safety Network. By having this updated information, it allows DPS to increase sharing between schools and law enforcement agencies.
In September of 2021, people reported to iWatchTexas about social media posts a teen from San Patricio County made. The teen had attacked and killed his family and said he was next planning an attack at the school. When officers arrived at his home, the teen took his own life. Inside the home, officers found four people and two dogs the teen had killed and plans to attack his school.
In 2021, DPS said it saw three times as many reports to the iWatchTexas program than in 2020. The program is able to take the reports and help local, state and federal law enforcement, school districts, mental health professionals, parents and caregivers to identify at-risk students.
“We must remain vigilant to ensure our children and teachers are safe when they head to school," McCraw said. "If anyone sees anything suspicious, it is critical for them to report it with this user-friendly tool. It may ultimately save lives.”