Little Cypress-Mauriceville police chief, superintendent discuss student safety

Published 12:20 am Thursday, January 11, 2024

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LITTLE CYPRESS — Mike Hennigan isn’t new to law enforcement or to Little Cypress-Mauriceville Consolidated Independent School District.

He’s served as chief deputy at Orange County Precinct 1 Constable’s Office, worked for five years with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office and is director of safety and security for the district.

Hennigan has other skills associated with safety and security; he is a certified Texas EMT and EMS instructor, certified firefighter, certified HAZMAT technician and certified incident commander.

He even started a door check program for each campus while at the constable’s office and established the Guardian Program for LC-M CISD.

Superintendent Stacey Brister said Hennigan has been involved with staff and students and has volunteered his time in the schools.

Hennigan was sworn in as chief of the newly formed district police department Monday night.

Brister said Hennigan was chosen at the beginning of the school year but couldn’t be named chief until a police department was established. To do so required Hennigan and the district to go through requirements set forth by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement.

Last year a law came into effect requiring armed personnel on every school campus. Brister said the district was already considering how to establish the program, the cost and seeking any available grants.

District leaders knew the importance of response time should an incident occur on a campus, especially in an area that is spread out such as Orange County.

“We know in an active shooter situation time is everything for getting people secured and protecting our kids,” Brister said.

Hennigan said the public is aware the district has the Guardian Program but does not know who the individuals are or how many there are for security reasons.

The new chief said the district would continue to have Guardians as another level of safety and security for the campuses.

Hennigan wants the public to know LC-M CISD is moving toward the future as the police department forms.

Brister said eventually the goal is to have an officer on each campus, but this is not a goal that can be achieved immediately. It is something to slowly build on.

The recent legislative session didn’t set aside funding for safety and security of schools, but Brister hopes this will happen in the near future. The funding will help with the cost of hiring officers, getting vehicles and other expenses, she said.

— Written by Mary Meaux