Contact: Officer Doug Greene - 210.207.7579
Release No: 20-019
Helping Traumatized Students
Schools closed due to Stay-at-Home order: Law enforcement and school administrators are still committed to serving helping students.
In January of 2019, SAPD, Region 20, SAISD, NEISD, and ECISD announced the launch of a pilot program called Handle with Care. This program entails law enforcement sending notifications to school districts if the officer responds to a scene where school aged children are present, and the officer feels that the student(s) may have been traumatized from the incident. The school district follows up with the student via a teacher, counselor, or principal to ensure the child is “handled with care” when the student returns to school. The goal of the program is to help traumatized students to succeed in both life and academics.
With the assistance from UT Health San Antonio, training modules on trauma informed care were provided for free to all schools who wanted to participate in the Handle With Care program.
In August of 2019, Salud America created a video highlighting the program in San Antonio.
During the pilot program from Jan 2019 to August 2019, there were approximately 80 notifications sent out from the East patrol service area. In September of 2019 a decision was made to continue the pilot but on a larger scale. All SAPD service areas were given the training and ability to make notifications from their in-car laptops. Through Education Service Center: Region 20, an invitation for area schools and law enforcement agencies to be a part of the program was extended.
From September 2019 to March 2020, approximately 338 notifications have been sent out city wide.
Through this program, we have observed many benefits. The most important benefit has been being able to help students cope with trauma early and in a healthy way. HWC is also credited for improving communications between local law enforcement and the schools.
Despite the closing of school campuses due to the COVID19 pandemic, law enforcement and schools are still committed to serving our students. HWC notifications will continue to be sent out by law enforcement. School staff and counselors are making follow-up calls to students and their families to see if they need assistance or services. The SAPD Community Engagement Unit also responds to notifications that involve serious bodily injury or death by contacting and providing services to the families.
Here are a list of schools and law enforcement agencies that are currently a part of the program:
- Northside ISD
- Northeast ISD
- East Central ISD
- Harlandale ISD
San Antonio ISD
- Edgewood ISD
- Judson ISD
- Southwest ISD
- South San ISD
- Alamo Heights ISD
- Brookes Academies
- Jubilee Academies
- Southwest Prep Charter School
- Elmendorf PD
- Converse PD
- Universal City PD