Windham discusses school safety programs, departure from JISD
Jacksboro ISD School Resource Officer Matt Windham discussed his departure from the district and school safety programs which were implemented during his time with JISD at the Jacksboro Lions Club meeting Wednesday, Feb. 12.
Windham said he celebrated his fifth anniversary in the position just a few weeks ago.
“Basically, an SRO needs to accept the kids as his or her own,” Windham said. “People ask me all the time, ‘how many kids do you have?’ and I say ‘well, I don’t have any of my own, but I have about 1,000 kids, but they just go home everyday.’”
The school resource officer said he was leaving the position on Thursday, Feb.13, to head to Wink. He began his new position in Wink Saturday, Feb. 15.
“Wink-Loving ISD presented a package that I just couldn’t turn down, so I decided to take that,” Windham said. “They haven’t had an SRO, so it is going to be a challenge starting from the ground up. There’s a lot of work to do.”
He said when Superintendent Dwain Milam came into the district they began working on implementing the defender program.
“That program is consisting of volunteers and those volunteers are your teachers or staff members from the ISD,” Windham said. “Those people have volunteered to carry weapons. You have to understand when you’re out in a rural area such as Jacksboro, and God forbid we ever have a critical incident or an attack, we’re going to have limited access and limited law enforcement response, we’re just not that big.”
The school resource officer said if he does not feel comfortable with the staff members abilities then they make them a level II defender which carries gas spray to protect themselves.
“I can promise you, I go to many many trainings, there’s not many better than Jacksboro in regards to training and taking it serious,” Windham said.
The school resource officer also discussed the school response protocol.
“You have four basic responses to an active attack,” Windham said. “You have a lockout, when something is a threat outside. We may be on a traffic stop outside the high school. If things could downhill really quick, we give a lockout signal. That means class continues on, but no one goes in and no one goes out.”
He said the other responses include a defender lockdown, which means an attack is happening inside the school; an evacuation response, which is used in the case of a fire; and shelter in place, which can be used due to bad weather or medical emergency inside of the hallway before class changing.
Windham was given a fond farewell during a reception Feb. 9 at Bible Baptist Church.
Windham was more than a resource officer for the district. He was a substitute teacher, a DJ at basketball games and, most notably, a coach for the JV baseball team for a year to name just a few.
“I’ve always said I either wanted to be a coach or a cop,” Windham said at the reception. “Here I got to be both and I will be forever grateful for the opportunity.”
Windham was presented with a custom baseball bat with his nickname “Coach Cop” emblazoned on it. Windham also received a scrapbook with a number notes of thanks and farewell notes from those who attended the reception.
For the full story, see the Wednesday, Feb. 19, edition of the Jacksboro Herald-Gazette.