CCSD leaders tackle campus violence as CCSD Police Chief presents idea for home visits

The CCSD board of trustees will examine school violence in this week's meeting on Thursday.
Published: Mar. 9, 2022 at 8:34 PM PST
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - A lockdown at Desert Oasis High School, spurred by reports of a gun on campus prompted concern from Clark County School District families. Families said they are fed up with unsafe campuses, and are looking forward to board members addressing the violence.

CCSD board members will meet on Thursday, March 10, at 5:00 p.m. to discuss recent cases of violence. The meeting was called by three trustee board members after a video surfaced of a girl being attacked went viral.

Trustee Danielle Ford said the video drew their attention and sparked questions.

“Can we get some more details?” said Ford. “Can we get some details as to what the operations were that followed with this?”

Ford hopes to review data pertaining to school violence.

“Are we really seeing an uptick or not? Because it’s been a problem for a long time, and we haven’t always seen it,” said Ford.

FOX5 first reported, the director of the juvenile division at Clark County’s DA office said they did see an uptick in youth violence at the beginning of the school year.

“At the start of the school year, we were trending up. It seems that the incidents weren’t traditionally what we’ve seen in the past,” said Chief Henry Blackeye, who was just recently named the official chief of CCSDPD.

A county official said the frequency of violent acts has simmered down a bit to pre-pandemic levels. The severity of violence has increased, according to county officials.

Trustee Ford would like to address some solutions during Thursday’s board meeting.

“Something that helps, is having more adults on campus,” Ford said. “Every teacher should have a teacher and an aide, and that aide needs to be able to run out if they need to get help.”

Ford anticipates layered discussions on the topic.

“Should we do some work groups with the community? Should we do policy changes? Should we do a new resolution? Like we don’t know, and then a couple weeks later perhaps there could be something on a meeting agenda that we could approve,” Ford said.

CCSD Police also have an idea for improving campus safety. Chief Blackeye is proposing an outreach program where they conduct home visits with families of at-risk juveniles, part of their “prevention before apprehension” ideology.

“We’ve had a history of our department: ‘prevention before apprehension,’ ya know? That’s our motto,” Blackeye said.

Chief Blackeye’s proposal is that CCSD Police partner with CCSD social workers and Las Vegas Metro Police to form outreach teams that proactively travel to the homes of families of at-risk juveniles on evenings and weekends, to conduct on-site assessments and provide referrals to community resources.

“Maybe a kid made a mistake, and maybe it just takes an officer talking to that student about that mistake. Maybe that student needs to be referred to the harbor, to a social worker,” Blackeye said.

Chief Blackeye said intervention over punishment is a mantra they already try to exemplify.

“We issue about 200 alternatives to arrests each month, and those are all for lower-level, non-violent misdemeanor offenses,” said Blackeye.

CCSD trustees could vote on whether to allow Chief Blackeye to submit a grant for his ‘prevention before apprehension’ project. Blackeye is proposing federal funds, in the amount of $405,000 to fund his project.

Blackeye’s proposed project would get the word out on free county resources. , The Harbor is a juvenile assessment center that helps kids cope with the struggles of daily life, and aims to ultimately prevent school violence.

“For these types of things in the past, it was difficult for us when parents would come to me and ask me what would I do with my child. And ya know, just trying to find those services was difficult,” said Blackeye. “Now they have a one-stop shop with The Harbor, and they have resources there available to parents to help out with those troubled students that they have or troubled kids.”

FOX5 will have the latest from Thursday’s board meeting on school violence.