Mesquite ISD parent suggests placing ballistic shields in every school

“What I’m trying to do is provide them another tool in the toolbox. To save time. Because time is life,” said Alfonso Solis.

MESQUITE, Texas — A Mesquite ISD parent and part-time security consultant is proposing placing ballistic shields in every Mesquite ISD school so that responding officers will have them if needed. Mesquite Police call it an innovative idea that they and the school district will consider.

“What I’m trying to do is provide them another tool in the toolbox. To save time. Because time is life,” said Alfonso Solis, a civilian certified to offer active shooter response training to schools, churches, and other private organizations. But he also has children in Mesquite ISD schools. After watching the first responding officers in Uvalde retreat from the first volley of gunfire, he wanted to come up with a parent-supplied solution.

Tuesday he proposed to Mesquite ISD, and the Mesquite Police Department which provides security for the district, that parents fund the purchase of at least one RTS tactical ballistic shield for each school. The Miami, Florida company that markets the shields says they are capable of deflecting a round from an AR-style weapon. At approximately $500 each, Solis suggests the shields be placed in a location like a school office so that a responding officer could use it if needed when responding to a school threat.

Patrol officers, other than SWAT teams, do not regularly carry ballistic shields.

“My only interest is my daughter goes to this school, I have a freshman at Mesquite High School and my wife works at a high school. That’s my interest in this,” said Solis.

Mesquite Police tell WFAA they are aware of Solis’ proposal and are studying the idea.

“It is great to see members of the community, like Mr. Solis, engaging with their communities and schools, and attempting to find ways to increase the safety and security of the schools,” a Mesquite Police spokesperson said in a written statement to WFAA. “We believe constructive ideas and conversations between community members and city and school officials can lead to innovation and an overall increase in school safety and awareness. 

“The shields in schools idea is innovative, and a coordinated conversation with Mesquite ISD school officials could result in a collaborative thought process to analyze the practicality of implementing these tools and ultimately decide if they are something that is feasible for their use.”

Mesquite Police, in response to Uvalde, say they are also studying the possibility of placing similar protective ballistic shields in some police vehicles to make them more readily available to patrol officers.

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