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Sheriff aims to expand school safety task forces beyond Northside ISD, Southwest ISD

Parents thanks BCSO for adding patrols around Alamo Ranch, but called for a more comprehensive solution to violent crime at schools.

SAN ANTONIO — Parents Thursday thanked the Bexar County Sherriff's Office for increasing patrols in the Alamo Ranch area after a string of arrests related to guns and drugs around Brennan High School. 

Though grateful, the same parents also wondered whether increased law enforcement presence outside the school will curtail problems inside. 

"We're dealing with the symptoms right now," said Craig Matthews, whose child attends a Northside ISD middle school. "We need to solve the problem."

Community meeting attendees, including sheriff Javier Salazar, say the school has a drug problem that's evolved into a gun problem. Salazar said the issues are not unique to Brennan, warning parents that students all over the country are engaging in violent drug deals. 

"They're shooting each other over THC vape pens," Salazar said. 

Last month, deputies arrested a 19-year-old for shooting and killing a Brennan freshman. Salazar said the incident stemmed from a "drug deal gone wrong." 

In response to that shooting and other incidents, the sheriff stationed a mobile command center a block away from Brennan. He also announced new school safety task forces serving Northside ISD and Southwest ISD. 

Salazar said he diverted staff and resources from other divisions to form the task forces. 

"Based upon the metrics I've seen just in the four days this task force has been running, we're having a measurable effect and we're moving the needle exactly like I thought we would," Salazar said. 

Salazar intends to present that data to county commissioners, ultimately angling to expand school safety task forces to other districts around Bexar County. 

Parents, though, questioned how deputies stationed off-campus can stop students from using drugs in the school bathrooms. Some attendees expressed frustration that Northside ISD representatives did not take questions during the community meeting. 

Others asked community leaders for more comprehensive solutions to drug dealing.

"What are we doing about prevention?" Matthews asked. "Really, that's kind of on the rest of us."

The sheriff will host another town hall at Southwest High school on Monday. 

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