Grapevine officer recognized by the state for developing school security plan

A Grapevine police officer is being recognized by the state of Texas for a year-long security plan he has been working on.

The plan focuses on providing police with crucial information that will expedite response during an active shooter.

Grapevine Police Officer Patrick O’Neal is serious about improving police response times in the event of school emergencies like an active shooter.  He created a unique mapping plan to be tailored to individual school campuses. 

Without revealing too many details about how it works or how it is shared with neighboring departments, O’Neal explained the basics.

"Hypothetical situation: you’ve got a bad guy that’s on the north side of a building, but we end up going to the south side. That’s a huge gap when it comes to this building, right? Being able to develop a system, a mapping system to where the information we gather. The bad guy was on the north side. Ok, how can I get into the building, access the building fastest on the north side?" he explained.


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He is not a school resource officer, yet Officer O’Neal has developed a special relationship with families and staff at Timberline Elementary.

"From the inside, I know that he is always thinking and looking out for us," said Principal Liz Hilcher. "He had already built so many relationships with kids and the staff that he really was a part of the Timberline community already.

Over the last several years, O’Neal has fine-tuned the mapping plan he started in 2017 with the help of Google Maps. The state recognized his work and honored him with the Texas Law Enforcement Achievement Award for Public Service.

"I’m appreciative for the award, but again everything comes back to the safety of the kids," he said. "That’s what it was, my whole drive behind what I did was for the babies."