Gatesville veteran patrols school hallways for safety through new program

Published: Sep. 7, 2022 at 6:28 PM CDT
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GATESVILLE, Texas (KWTX) - Left to right and everywhere in between there’s someone new keeping an eye on Gatesville ISD.

“”I’m just looking for anything suspicious,” Adam Fitzer said. “Anything that would seem out of the ordinary.”

He’s not a teacher or administrator. No Fitzer is a veteran and now he spends his days monitoring and checking door locks at the schools.

“It’s just what I know how to do,” he said. “I did infantry for personnel, location, along with all the patrolling and everything else we did.”

The now retired veteran is the first ever volunteer for the new Friends on Duty program. When Fitzer heard about the new program he was ready to protect and to serve all, including his sophomore daughter at Gatesville High School.

Responsibilities vary from school to school, but generally volunteers in the program check door locks and monitor hallways throughout the day.

“Throughout the school day when they start working on the campus it’s really a fluid day some campuses need them checking exterior doors more often,” Gatesville ISD executive director Yancey Sanderson said.

In case of emergency, volunteers are not responsible for taking action. Fitzer is just there to help with reporting anything suspicious to officials like the school resource officer or the principal.

“I know a few of the kids that are here and it would hurt if something were to ever happen to any of them,” Fitzer said.

It’s these routine checks that keep everyone safe in schools.

“I don’t want it to happen anywhere, but it does,” Fitzer said. “And I would rather be here and be able to do something about it than not be here.”

The school district is still looking for volunteers to be in the program. All volunteers must pass a background check before getting in. Applications can be picked up at the Gatesville ISD Administration Building at 311 South Lovers Lane.