2 officers – 1 new, 1 veteran – work together to establish safety

High school welcomes new school resource officer George White

In+uniform%2C+Sergeant+Chris+Reeves+and+Officer+George+White+ride+bikes.+They+both+have+a+passion+for+working+out+and+staying+in+shape%2C+teacher+Laura+Reeves+said.+They+are+both+on+the+Prosper+ISD+Police+Department+Bike+Unit%2C+which+has+five+officers+currently.

Photo courtesy of Chris Reeves

In uniform, Sergeant Chris Reeves and Officer George White ride bikes. “They both have a passion for working out and staying in shape,” teacher Laura Reeves said. “They are both on the Prosper ISD Police Department Bike Unit, which has five officers currently.”

Kaya Miller, Executive News Editor

Reading Time: 5 minutes

They’re visible. They’re in uniform. As police presence grows at Prosper High School, Officer George White joins head school resource officer Sergeant Chris Reeves for the new school year.

White has worked in law enforcement for 22 years.

“I became a police officer to serve my community,” White said. “Safety is paramount.”

Reeves shares strong enthusiasm about his career.

“I became a police officer because it’s exciting and it’s always fun to help people,” Reeves said. “I attended the police academy in 2002.”

Since then, he has worked in several agencies before landing his job at PISD.

“From patrol to the supervisor role to investigations, I’ve had a lot of experience from the get-go,” Reeves said. “Coming over here was a great chance to take all the knowledge I learned on the streets and bring them to the school district.”

Reeves has worked at PHS for several years. White worked at Hays Middle School before coming to work at PHS.

“I started my career working in the jail for the collin county sheriff’s office where I advanced to sergeant and then to lieutenant pretty quickly,” White said. “After that, I left and went and worked patrol for a long time. I found my passion for being a school resource officer.”

White and Reeves have known each other for over 10 years. They first met when Reeves worked under White at Anna ISD Police Department. Reeves worked as an Anna Police Department officer, and as an Anna ISD school resource officer. White held the title of Chief of Police for the Anna ISD Police Department.

“They both love to play sports, especially football,” Reeves’ wife, Laura Reeves said. “In 2012 they both started for the Guns n Hoses charity full tackle football team. The game was played at AT&T Stadium, Police vs. Fire. White played running back, and Reeves played cornerback.”

Their friendship extends into their goal to keep the Prosper community safe as a team.

“You shift gears,” Reeves said. “You’re kind of like a hybrid officer. I don’t know how many times we’ve been in conjunction with the counselors for all kinds of different things to AirPods getting stolen to minor automobile crashes in the parking lot.”

“Sergeant Reeves always has the best advice and is quite possibly the most patient man alive.” ”

— Laura Reeves, Teacher

The officers hold various responsibilities but all have the same theme of support for the school’s students and faculty.

“The most important thing is to be there for our students,” White said. “Whether they just need to come and talk to us or joke around with us, if they have something going on – we can help them. That’s why we’re here.”

PHS’s student population surpassed 3,500 students this school year. With that, construction on the two-laned Frontier Parkway brings extra stress to student drivers and parents. Traffic congestion continues to be a concern.

“My responsibilities are to walk around the school, and make sure our students and our parking lots are safe,” White said. “As you guys know we have a large amount of traffic. Our job also entails getting that traffic in and out.”

If an emergency were to occur, receptionist Molly Jones would be the staff member to dial 911.

“They are always present and accessible,” Jones said. “They are here because they want to be. It’s hard to explain just how fantastic they are but they always go above and beyond. They are always communicative – if they can’t be here, they’ll always have a substitute in their place to carry out their responsibilities.”

Post-Uvalde, schools around the nation have ramped up preparation for school shooting emergencies. For PHS, however, the three-day active shooter training plans began last September of last year.

“The main focus of the active shooter training is to keep us sharp,” said Reeves. “It was two or three days of some really intense training. I was sweating and my adrenaline was pumping. It was as realistic as it could be.”

Public safety employees and PISD staff attended the active shooter training.

“It also gave us the opportunity to work with the Prosper Police Department, as well as the Prosper Fire Department and paramedic services,” White said. “(We had) training on how to extract people out of the buildings, and things of that nature. Things that we ordinarily don’t have to do – but this is a planned training.”

The high school held the three-day training two weeks before the new school year began.

“The importance is to make sure that not only our students know what to do in the event of an emergency or active shooter situation but our staff,” White said. “We want our staff to remain cool, calm and collected. Hopefully, if they’re doing that, our students are doing the same thing.”

“I feel safer knowing that the police officers have gone through schoool shooting training and are present all over the school.””

— Samaira Bhojwani, Junior

The school district periodically conducts safety drills, ranging from fire to lockdown, to train students and staff to respond in an emergency.

“The reason why we do these drills is kind of like playing in a game,” White said. “If you’re playing in a game, you’re going to practice hard. If you practice hard when you get to that game you play hard.”

The school held a lockdown drill on Aug. 23 during the advisory period.

“As long as we’re doing what we’re supposed to do while we do these drills,” White said. “We’re taking them seriously. We’re not playing on our phones. We’re being quiet in the classroom. We’re listening to instructions. If the real thing ever occurs, we’re gonna be great because our students know what they’re doing already.”

Drills are treated realistically. For example, the lockdown drill entails students sitting away from closed windows and locked doors in silence until a police officer comes and unlocks the classroom door.

“Everyone has been through a lot of alert training,” White said. “The people that have been to alert are familiar with that. The movement – the way you move down the hallway and stay away from the walls. It’s something that we constantly train on. It’s gonna continue to change and we’re gonna continue to evolve along with it.”

Reeves’ wife, Laura Reeves works at the school as a science teacher.

“Both Reeves and White volunteered to help the Town of Prosper Police Department during a large student-led, non-violent protest in the summer of 2021.” Laura Reeves said. “Participants walked the perimeter of the shopping centers near Dicks Sporting Goods, around to Preston, and back up near Walmart. The weather was extremely hot, and he helped pass out water to over-heated people on foot, as well as help block traffic to keep them safe.”

Outside of the school year, the two continue to work to keep the community safe.

“It’s important to have involvement not only at Prosper but at every school district in the state of Texas and our country with the threats that are out there,” Reeves said. “You never know if that threat is gonna go from a business or a roadway onto our campus. It’s very important that we’re here to keep everyone safe.”

According to Texas Tribune, 100 school districts within Texas have created their own police departments.

“Being visible, and deterring any kind of threats that potentially lie out there (is our goal),” Reeves said. “In my opinion, if they drive by and they see officers White and me, they see our patrol cars. They see us on bikes. They’re less likely to come on to our campus.”