SB 507 Passed
CLEVELAND August 14, 2015 - Last month Rex Evans of Cleveland was invited to a very special ceremony in Houston, which was held last night, August 13. This ceremony was in celebration of the passing of SB 507, a very special Bill that was passed and signed into State Law this year.
Out of over 6000 Bills submitted, only a little over 1000 were passed, SB 507 being one of those few. This Bill specifically sets forth safeguards and guidelines directly related to the safety and security of Special Needs Children in Public Schools all across the State of Texas. Below is Evans’ recollections of his experience.
This battle began years ago. Special Investigative Reporter Greg Grogan from Fox 26 Houston had been exposing one tragic story after the next. Mr. Grogan was also working with many Special Needs Children and the Parents of the children in the community in his personal life. He and his Wife certainly knew first hand the struggles of such a life, with their own, Special Needs Child.
Fast forward to early this year. A very serious and difficult case surfaced here in Cleveland ISD relating to a Special Needs Child with grievous injuries. This one Criminal Investigation alone, comprised over 100 hours of police work. A lot of heartbreaking interviews and, I will admit it, a few tears behind my closed Office door were to come.
In April and May of this year, in my role as Chief of Police, I was called to appear before the Texas House and the Texas Senate to speak directly and quite candidly about these types of heartbreaking cases and how we, as Law Enforcement, investigate and handle such serious, often tragic cases. It was a true, once in a lifetime opportunity. It was very nice to cross all the political lines, Democrat and Republican. It was just a movement to help protect our Children and our Grandchildren in Texas with Special Needs.
The best, most memorable moment of all this was, not meeting such great people as Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, or the famous Representative Ms. Senfronia Thompson (elected to the State of Texas House in 1973 and longest sitting African-American Woman) and many other Representatives and Senators. The most memorable and special moment of all was simply this; sitting in full dress uniform on the floor of the Capital Building, outside the Senate Chamber coloring with an impaired Special Needs Child. That one moment, and that single frame of time, will forever remain within my heart.
Being a Chief of Police, with over 25 years of Law Enforcement experience, I have had many accomplishments. However, in my humble assessment, helping pass a Bill into Law, which protects the most vulnerable people of any society, Special needs Children, was perhaps, the single measurable accomplishment of my career. It was an honor and a privilege. One I shall carry with me for the rest of my life.