The Texas Peacekeepers Movement

Joel Brasier, Reporter

The Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice at Texas A&M University- Commerce hosted the Texas Peacekeepers Movement on November 4th and 5thuh for students, faculty and community members.

The Texas Peacekeepers Movement is based out of Houston and is a joint community partnership by Texas to help educate citizens on how to be safe during traffic stops. The Community Safety Education Act of Texas was signed into law in 2017 and became effective September 1, 2018. The Peacekeepers Movement builds upon the Community Safety Education Act to enhance the TEA, TCOLE and TRLA basic requirements in order to provide a training session with dialogue, interaction, research, and best practices.

“It has become so important in the state of Texas that the principle that was here for our program along with a hundred and some Freshman students from Commerce High School were here. The reason we didn’t have Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors is because they have already had the training, we tried to get Greenville high school students, they have already been trained,” Dr. Elvira White-Lewis, Department Head of the Sociology and Criminal Justice Department said.

Classes are now being taught not only to high school students, but to law enforcement personnel and residents taking driver education cases. “My understanding is every student starting ninth grade this year has to be trained before they graduate. They have to be trained in the state of Texas now,” White-Lewis said.

The facilitators were on campus for two days that taught the classes on November 4th in the Ferguson Auditorium from 1-3pm and 6-9 pm and on November 5 in the Sam Rayburn Student Center between 9am and 12 pm. “We were invited by one of the facilitators, Dr. Everette Penn who is one of the grant people here in the state of Texas, he goes around the state of Texas putting on this program, if he wasn’t a grant writer, he was a grant recipient, ” White-Lewis said.

Although Texas is trying to educate residence on how to be safe during traffic stops, there is criticism on both sides when it comes to the early stages of the Texas Peacekeepers Movement that has yet to be resolved and more work will need to be done to prove it can be a powerful tool to protect citizens.

The earliest TAMUC will host another training session will be in a year when they will have another population of high school students as well as college students.