Summer Gets Off to a ‘Safe Start’ in HISD for 22nd Year

Ministers and area police officers provide added security as regular school year ends

May 31, 2012

HISD began its twenty-second year of helping kids make a smooth transition into their summer break when representatives of several law enforcement agencies joined forces with dozens of local faith-based leaders to launch this year's Project Safe Start at a press conference held May 29.

Project Safe Start has been recognized nationally for preventing violence as Houston's youth begin their summer vacation by deploying police officers and ministers from Ministers Against Crime and the Police and Clergy Team to targeted school campuses throughout Houston on the last few days of the school year.

This joint effort provides an added measure of security for both students and staff by preventing students from attempting to "settle up" their differences with other classmates as the regular academic year concludes.

"Obviously, it's working, and that's why we continue to do it," explained Lt. Mattie Provost, an officer with the Houston Police Department. "This shows kids that we care about them, and that we want them to be safe."

"One of the biggest parts of this initiative is awareness - getting the news out that the police will be out in force on, so criminals will know not to come up to the schools," said Cullen Baptist Church Pastor Robert Jefferson, who has been involved with the program since its inception. "We have found that students would act right on the last day if they knew they wouldn't be harmed."

"We find it very beneficial to have the extra eyes and ears at our schools," added Assistant HISD Police Chief Robert Mock. "It helps students start the summer off right."