Walking and riding bicycles safely to school, cyberbullying, and child abuse are just some of the issues that Beaumont ISD Police Chief Joseph Malbrough hopes to tackle in the upcoming school year.

Malbrough, who was serving as interim chief until his full-time appointment last week, is excited about what lies ahead this school year.

"One of the things we want to focus on is ensuring we have a more aggressive, interaction with our student population, be more involved, sort of as a mentor per se, and educating them," Malbrough said.

One issue that was covered in detail on Monday was child abuse and neglect. The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services was invited for the first time to train BISD police officers on dealing with children who may be coming from an abusive home.

According to the DFPS website, 166,753 cases of child abuse were investigated statewide during the 2016 fiscal year. 1,964 cases were investigated in Jefferson County in that time.

Numbers from other Southeast Texas counties include:

  • 433 cases in Hardin County
  • 785 cases in Orange County
  • 329 cases in Jasper County
  • 83 cases in Newton County
  • 171 cases in Tyler County

“We talked about the importance of being a leader and a mentor to a child, depending on if that’s a teacher role or a law enforcement role because it takes all of us to raise these children,” DFPS media specialist Shari Pulliam said.

“It’s a collaborative effort to make sure these children have the best school year that they can. And with these two agencies working together, I think we can accomplish that,” Pulliam said.

Chief Malbrough also wants to send a positive message to start the school year.

"Be very supportive and encouraging of your children as well as we will. And we look forward to being a partner with our parents along with our educational staff and administrators," Malbrough said.

Child abuse and neglect cases can be reported online or by calling 1-800-252-5400.