Back to School, Safe!
By Office of Communication
Posted on August 22, 2012, August 22, 2012

The Arlington Police Department wants the first day back to school to be a safe one.

Whether it's traffic laws, theft prevention or truancy, Arlington police officers say safety is an important lesson. It is a part of good decision-making, said Sgt. Scott Vickers.

"Safety is a lesson we want students to exercise not only on the first day of school, but throughout the year and for the rest of a lifetime," he said. "We're here to help students avoid learning these lessons the hard way from personal experiences."

On Aug. 27, School Resource Officers will have highly visible presence on campuses as thousands of students and teachers return to the classroom for a new school year. SROs will monitor high school, junior high and elementary school campuses for potential problems and opportunities, said Lt. Scott Brown, the School Resource Officer Unit commander.

"One of our biggest issues is always pedestrian safety," Brown said. "We're asking motorists to be extra vigilant in school zones. Slow down, don't use the phone, and anticipate what actions a child might take. "

In the classroom this year, School Resource Officers like VaNessa Harrison, Barry Samples and Tom McPhail are among the 18 officers scheduled to teach lessons on topics such as drug and alcohol awareness, traffic law, internet and personal safety. More than 40 different public safety topics are planned.

As a new school year approaches, the following lessons apply to safety:

  • Avoid becoming a victim of theft. Students are asked to keep valuable items like cell phones and iPads in a secure location. Never leave electronics in backpacks and purses unattended in cafeterias, hallways, etc.
  • Slow down in school zones. The speed limit is 20 mph. Motorists are reminded to watch for children walking to and from school.
  • Avoid distractions inside the vehicle. It is against state law to text or use the phone while inside of a school zone.
  • Drive with care when approaching a school bus. Motorists must stop when approaching a school bus that is displaying flashing red lights.
  • Avoid walking alone. Tag along with a buddy or a group.
  • If a stranger offers you a ride, say "no" and run away. Parents are reminded to talk with their young boys and girls about stranger danger. Get tips at
  • Support student safety and achievement. Report students who are not in class during regular school hours. Call Crime Stoppers at 817-469-TIPS (8477).

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