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Governor Abbott, DPS Launch iWatchTexas PSA To Promote Reporting System

TEXAS, August 16 - August 16, 2022 | Austin, Texas | Press Release

Governor Greg Abbott and the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) today launched a public service announcement to promote awareness of the iWatchTexas community reporting system as teachers, students, and school faculty across the state return to school for the new school year. Featuring "Walker, Texas Ranger" Chuck Norris, the PSA will air on television in media markets across the state starting August 17. iWatchTexas is a partnership between communities and law enforcement that makes it easier for the public to report suspicious activity in the state, including criminal, terroristic, or school safety-related threats.

"There is nothing more important than keeping our schools and communities safe," said Governor Abbott. "Parents, teachers, and students deserve to feel safe and secure returning to school this fall, and who better to help spread the message about the iWatchTexas reporting system than 'Texas Ranger' Chuck Norris. We ask Texans to utilize iWatchTexas to report nearby suspicious activity to help our law enforcement quickly and effectively respond to any criminal, terroristic, or school safety threats. If you see something, say something and together we can protect our children, teachers, and communities."

In June, Governor Abbott directed DPS, the Texas Education Agency, and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to expand and accelerate their efforts to promote the ability to report suspicious activity known to students, staff, and families through the iWatchTexas reporting system. 

Chuck Norris iWatch PSA

TRANSCRIPT:

I’m Chuck Norris. 

I love bringing bad guys to justice. 

But law enforcement can’t stop the bad guys if they don’t know who they are. 

That’s why I wanted to tell you about iWatch, a website, phone app and service that allows Texans to report suspicious activity. 

Whether it’s criminal acts, terror threats, or someone wanting to harm children, if you see something, say something, and help keep communities in the great state of Texas safe.

Governor Abbott has taken significant action to provide all available resources to support the Uvalde community following the tragic shooting at Robb Elementary School. Those actions include:

  • Initiating the State of Texas' comprehensive plan to assist and support members of the community, including co-locating state agency representatives to the Family Assistance Center for on-hand assistance in finding benefits.
  • Investing an initial $5 million to establish a long-term Family Resiliency Center in Uvalde County to serve as a hub for community services, including access to critical mental health resources.
  • Providing $1.25 million to Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District for trauma-informed counseling, crisis intervention, and community outreach.
  • Working with the OneStar Foundation to create a one-stop webpage for donations to support the victims' families, teachers, and the Uvalde community.
  • Directing the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) to ensure all children in Uvalde have access to behavioral health resources and community support.
  • Providing $105.5 million to enhance school safety and mental health services in Uvalde and throughout Texas.
  • Issuing a disaster declaration to accelerate all available state and local resources to assist the Uvalde community.
  • Requesting Texas legislative leaders convene special legislative committees to begin examining and developing legislative recommendations on school safety, mental health, social media, police training, firearm safety, and more. 
  • Directing the Texas School Safety Center (TxSSC) to begin immediately conducting comprehensive school safety reviews to ensure all Texas public schools are following the appropriate procedures to maximize school safety.
  • Directing the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to provide strategies to make Texas public schools safer through heightened safety standards.
  • Instructing the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERRT) programs to provide training to all school districts across the state, prioritizing school-based law enforcement.
  • Directing TEA, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB), and the Department of Public Safety (DPS) to expand and accelerate the ability to report suspicious activity through the iWatchTexas reporting system.
  • Directing TEA to create a new Chief of School Safety and Security position within the agency. 
  • Urging the Texas District & County Attorneys Association (TDCAA) to increase lie-and-try prosecutions of people who lie on information provided for gun background checks.

View the PSA.