City Hall

Public Safety Chair Adam McGough Pitches More Security After Uvalde Mass Shooting

Texas has seen 22 mass shooting so far this year.
Texas has seen 22 mass shooting so far this year. Photo by Austin Pacheco on Unsplash
In a memo last week, Adam McGough, Dallas City Council member and chair of the public safety committee, asked for beefed-up security measures at local schools following the Uvalde mass shooting. The committee will discuss some school safety recommendations with the Dallas Police Department at its meeting today.

“Regardless of federal gun laws and without adequate mental health resources, cities and school districts must step up to control what we can to protect the most vulnerable parts of our community, our kids,” McGough said in the memo. “As with all government action, we must balance our freedoms with necessary protective measures.”

Salvador Ramos, 18, killed 19 children and two teachers last month when he opened fire at Robb Elementary in Uvlade. Just days before the shooting, Ramos legally bought the rifle used to carry out the attack.

McGough said the Dallas Independent School District has its own police department, but that every district has different ways of addressing safety. McGough wants some safety measures to be uniform across all schools in the city, which includes more than just DISD. Campuses from Richardson, Carrollton-Farmers Branch and Duncanville school districts also sit in the city.

One thing McGough thinks every school needs is its own resource officer. These officers are responsible for school security, scenario prevention and response, safety training, social media monitoring and building relationships with their communities.

Some schools in McGough’s part of town belong to Richardson Independent School District, which doesn’t have its own police department. According to his memo, over 60% of Richardson ISD students live in Dallas. So, McGough thinks they should consider what it would take to form a police department for the district.

He also wants a safety audit of every school in the city, a volunteer program for parents and for schools to be shut down when they’re being used as voting locations in local elections. Richardson ISD already does some of the things McGough has recommended, like closing down schools when they’re used as voting locations and trying to spot early warning signs of potential threats, according to The Dallas Morning News.

Casey Boland, a Richardson ISD teacher, told the Observer McGough has done a lot to help beef up security at Richardson ISD schools. “He is one of the reasons we have all of the security in place – SROs, locked doors, single entry, cameras, etc.,” Boland said.

There’s not a lot the City Council could do to restrict gun sales locally, but Boland said this is the more prevalent issue around school safety.

“My view is the schools are as safe as they can be, unless the killer has AR type weapons,” Boland said. “So, shoring up what is already in place, and checking to make sure those protocols are intact are fine ideas. But, they won’t solve the problem, which is too easy, too young access to those types of weapons.”

This month, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Protecting Our Kids Act, according to CNBC, which would raise the legal minimum age for purchasing a gun from 18 to 21 years old. The bill would also ban the sale of large capacity magazines and implement new at-home gun storage rules.
KEEP THE DALLAS OBSERVER FREE... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Jacob Vaughn, a former Brookhaven College journalism student, has written for the Observer since 2018, first as clubs editor. More recently, he's been in the news section as a staff writer covering City Hall, the Dallas Police Department and whatever else editors throw his way.
Contact: Jacob Vaughn