San Antonio, Texas, January 9, 2019: The San Antonio Police Department has partnered with SAISD, NEISD, and ECISD to launch a pilot program called Handle with Care in the 2019 spring semester for select schools. This program promotes a partnership between law enforcement and area schools to better ensure that children who are exposed to traumatic events in their home or community receive appropriate interventions. The ultimate goal is to help students succeed in school.
“Our officers encounter children in our community that unfortunately experience traumatic events that require a police response. This can range from neglect to the loss of a love one. Life for that child does not stop once the officer leaves the scene. That child has the challenge of dealing with their current circumstances while trying to learn and thrive in school. It is our goal to improve communications with our local schools in an effort to help our city’s youth heal from traumatic experiences,” stated Chief William McManus.
The Handle with Care program involves SAPD officers sending a confidential notification to the child’s school alerting staff to “handle the student with care.” There are no details of the incident released. Only three word message, “Handle with Care” along with the students’ name, age, and school are provided. School staff will know to be sensitive to the child’s need due to their circumstances.
This program was adopted from the West Virginia State Police which initiated Handle with Care back in 2013. Since the launch, multiple law enforcement agencies, schools, and states have implemented the program. More info on the program can be found at http://www.handlewithcarewv.org/.
After the pilot is completed, all the stakeholders will then decide on if the program is a good fit for the community and discussion will be take place on growing the notification process to other public school districts, private, charter schools, and law enforcement agencies.
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