HOUSTON — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is re-deploying a program to alert law enforcement of suspicious activity at schools as kids are heading back into the classroom.
It’s called iWatch Texas and it’s designed to provide law enforcement with quick tips to respond to danger.
It’s one way Gov. Abbott is responding to concerns about school safety as many are asking for more to be done.
A new PSA calling to attention features a Texas icon.
“I’m Chuck Norris. I love bringing bad guys to justice," the PSA starts.
Governor Abbott is pulling out all the stops to convince Texans that he’s responding to concerns of school safety.
“Law enforcement can’t stop the bad guys if they don’t know who they are,” Chuck Norris said in the 30-second video.
iWatch Texas, which was first launched in 2018, is a website, phone app and service that allows Texans to report suspicious activity to DPS.
“We’ve heard plenty of these words, what we need now in Texas are actions,” Sen. Roland Gutierrez said.
Gutierrez, a state senator and Democrat, who represents Uvalde, says the repurposed push for iWatch Texas is a distraction from the real issues at hand when it comes to school safety.
“Let’s be real clear our kids are no safer today in any school in Texas than we were on May 24th because Greg Abbott has refused to call a special session to raise an age limit from 18 to 21,” Gutierrez said.
Educators are also pushing back against the measure being promoted by a celebrity.
“Why do we need iWatch necessarily over 911?" asked Zeph Capo, the president of the American Federation of Teachers said. “ I mean frankly we already have an emergency system that is supposed to get directly to people.”
Abbott says “parents, teachers, and students deserve to feel safe and secure returning to school this fall.”
Something Senator Gutierrez says is not happening by resisting legislative changes on guns.
Locally, some schools already have a system in place to report suspicious activity.
Houston ISD utilizes the See Something Say Something app and has a 24-hour tip-line where students can make reports at 713-892-7777.