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Eanes ISD

Board Approves Police Department

Eanes ISD Police

At its June 6 meeting, the Eanes ISD Board of Trustees approved a policy that forms a school district police department, thus authorizing armed peace officers on each of its campuses, including elementary schools.
The approval aligns with the recent passage of House Bill 3 (HB3) by the Texas Legislature. Pending the Governor’s signature, this new law will mandate at least one armed security officer is present during regular school hours at each district campus. The new Eanes ISD security force will work closely with district and school officials, local law enforcement agencies and other stakeholders to create safe surroundings for all students, staff and community. 
The comprehensive policy approved by the Board delineates specific training, protocols and procedures in accordance with state law enforcement code and Texas Education Agency requirements. This policy places a strong emphasis on training related to student mental health, restorative justice and accommodations for students with special needs.
"The Eanes ISD Board of Trustees remains steadfast in our commitment to ensuring the safety of our students and staff,” said Board President James Spradley. “We have always held this responsibility as a top priority; by establishing a dedicated police department, we are taking proactive measures to create a more secure, welcoming environment for the entire school community.”
The newly formed police department will assume a broad range of responsibilities, including emergency response to incidents on campus, enforcement of District policies and regulations pertaining to safety and disruption, collaboration with school officials and local law enforcement agencies to coordinate security efforts, providing safety education and training to students, faculty and staff, and the development of positive relationships with students and the community to foster trust and open communication.
"It is imperative our staff and students feel safe, protected and valued on campus so they can focus on teaching and learning," said Dr. Jeff Arnett, Superintendent of Schools. “Establishing a dedicated police department reinforces our safety and security efforts, and expands coverage to all campuses within the district.”
Currently, Eanes ISD employs two School Resource Officers from the Travis County Sheriff's Office and six security staff members, incurring an annual cost of approximately $935,000. The anticipated annual personnel cost for the new police department, comprising 15 employees, is estimated at $1.6 million. HB3 provides minimal funding to offset these costs.
The District will immediately begin recruiting highly qualified security officers with a goal of staffing campuses by the beginning of the next school year. The intent is to have a fully commissioned police force in place by early 2024.