Travis County commissioners voted unanimously to approve a request from the Travis County Sheriff’s Office to authorize and fund one additional school resource officer position at Lake Travis ISD at a July 30 Commissioners Court meeting.
The new officer will work at the LTISD middle schools—Hudson Bend Middle School and Lake Travis Middle School—beginning Aug. 1, per a spokesperson for the sheriff’s office.
The school resource officer unit includes 18 officers across five school districts. The officers are specially trained to work in a school setting.
The estimated monthly cost of each school resource officer is $11,576.04, which includes personnel costs as well as vehicles and equipment associated with the job. The school district pays for these costs for 10 months, and the county covers the remaining two months.
“After reviewing recent incidents, past stats, and current growth in the student population, both Lake Travis ISD and TCSO agree that it would be appropriate to have an additional SRO within the Lake Travis ISD,” wrote Julie Cullen, a senior planner with the sheriff’s office, in a July 9 memo to the Commissioners Court. “School safety is at the forefront of the nation’s consciousness and keeping our children safe in school is very important.”
While commissioners approved the new position, they also discussed how the recently passed property tax revenue cap will impact the county’s financial support for area school districts, including supplementary funding for school resource officers.
“There were all kinds of reasons for us to subsidize school resource officers before the Legislature met and infused the school districts with additional capital,” County Judge Sarah Eckhardt said.