School board approves creation of Lake Travis ISD police department
During its regular meeting held December 16, 2020, our school board unanimously adopted a resolution authorizing the establishment of our own police department.
As we look at the future of our District’s security personnel for 2021 and beyond, we have determined—given our size and continued growth—that the establishment of a school district police department is in our best interest. We believe that a comprehensive Lake Travis ISD-based police department, whose jurisdiction would encompass all territory within our school boundaries, will enhance the safety and security of the entire District. Aside from day-to-day operations and matters of emergency response, employing our own officers creates new opportunities and additional support for student services, traffic safety, and staffing of special events across our schools.
For years, the District has contracted with the Travis County Sheriff’s Office for the use of deputies to serve as School Resources Officers, better known as SROs. Under the current agreement between Travis County and the District, three SROs serve numerous Lake Travis schools. As per our new agreement, we will purchase uniforms, equipment, vehicles and other start-up items for an initial cost of approximately $400,000 to be supported by the District’s 2018 bond program. We will then hire a police chief and five officers at an annual operating budget of $540,000 beginning with the District’s 2021-2022 General Fund.
On behalf of our school board, I want to thank the Travis County Sheriff’s Office and their deputies for their years of service to our school district; we are truly grateful. The safety and security of our staff and students is truly a community partnership. We will continue to partner with Travis County, as well as with the Bee Cave and Lakeway police departments. The creation of our own police department will only serve to strengthen those relationships and broaden our scope and depth of services.
We expect to begin the transition from our current SRO program to a District-run department in 2021. More information will be forthcoming as this process develops.