PHARR, Texas (ValleyCentral) — The Pharr Police Department held a roundtable discussion with the Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD, other Rio Grande Valley school districts, and police agencies on how to better secure schools.

Pharr Police Chief Andy Harvey told ValleyCentral that a key takeaway is getting more school resource officers.

“The fact of the matter is we do not have enough staff to put an officer in every single school. It is just way too much at this time. So how do we do that? We think of better ways of doing it,” Harvey said. “There are a lot of schools in our cities so one of the options that we are looking at is to hire off-duty officers to fill those areas and vacancies that we want to be filled.”

Another key part of the safety plan is retraining alongside other agencies to better respond to any emergency event.

“If there is an officer in San Juan or Pharr and we have trained together, now we know how to respond together and better and more efficiently,” Harvey said.

However, Pharr PD added that retraining does not stop with law enforcement.

“We’ve even informed our teachers and our educators that you are really the first line of defense,” said Assistant Chief Joel Robles. “So that if we are training them, we show them and help them understand what the things are to look out for.”

As many parents may have concerns this upcoming school year, Pharr PD is reassuring the community.

“We want them to have confidence in our school districts and in our local law enforcement agencies,” Robles said.