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Keller police are collaborating with the town of Westlake to build a police substation on the Westlake Academy campus northeast of Fort Worth.

The academy’s board of trustees approved the plan in early February, before last week's school shooting killed 17 people in Parkland, Fla.

Keller Police Chief Michael Wilson said the plan for a substation addressespolicing complexities created by the charter school’s corporate-style layout.

The layout "offers a ton of advantages for students and staff but poses challenges to safety,” Wilson said. The substation "is a nontraditional approach to a nontraditional learning environment.”

The plan comes after a series of mass shootings that have motivated schools to look for better methods and enforcement to prevent such tragedies in schools.


The substation is under construction in an existing Westlake Academy building and will be completed in spring 2019. It will serve as a fully functional substation 24/7 throughout the year, Wilson said.

The town of Westlake and Keller police have been regional partners since 2002. Wilson said the plan for a substation emerged as a result of ongoing analysis and security audits and was not in response to any specific event.

“We’re always looking for trends,” Wilson said. “We’re looking at what are the new threats emerging and how we may need to work together to modify policing philosophy and strategies to close any security gaps.”


The substation will serve as a resource center and checkout point for five to six officers during school hours. There are no school resource officers assigned to Westlake Academy, a circumstance Wilson said is due to the academy’s layout and learning style.

Wilson said the substation will give Keller police a better presence at the school than SROs would, and will offer additional benefits in terms of enhancing existing school programs, allowing for more community engagement and providing Westlake residents with a direct point of contact.

The Keller Police Department has two patrol officers and two traffic officers serving the town of Westlake. The department does not anticipate hiring any new officers due to the substation.

Westlake lies on the border of Denton and Tarrant counties. The town had a population of 1,124 in 2016, according to federal census data. 

Westlake was identified as the most affluent neighborhood in America by Forbes in 2011, with an estimated annual median household income of $250,000. 

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