CANYON, TX (KFDA) - West Texas A&M University's police department is taking extra precautions and receiving more safety training to assist the Canyon Police Department.
University officers will see and increase in fire arm training, safety training and some have been sent to different schools as part of their training.
The move comes a week after CPD announced it would automatically send out two officers on all response calls instead of one. The change could lead to a strain in staffing during periods of high activity.
"They have a small department and for basic law enforcement concepts such as dealing with calls that involve contact and cover we want to have enough officers to respond so they can do provide those services in a safe manner," WTAMU Sergeant Jack Hildebrand said.
Hildebrand said the connection the two departments have will help better protect the city, university, and all officers in uniform.
The partnership isn't entirely unprecedented. CPD and WTAMU have assisted each other over the years with community and university events.
"We've worked hand in hand because we've served a lot of the same community on a consistent basis for many years," Hildebrand said. "Current times even more so, we want to continue to support each other when each department has those needs and I think both departments have made the commitment for many years."
In addition to helping Canyon PD, Hildebrand adds WT is teaming up with Canyon PD and other local law enforcement agencies to launch a new program called Operation Safe Walk.
"Pedestrian safety is an important issue here on campus with some of the busy streets we have here - Russell Long Boulevard, 4th and 23rd Streets - we have a lot of traffic and pedestrian traffic as well," Hildebrand said. "We want to be proactive and work with DPS and Canyon PD in order to kick off with the fall semester with a more safer pedestrian environment."
Campus police will launch the Safe Walk campaign on the first day of class August 29. The campaign will educate students as well as enforcing pedestrian laws.