Lake Travis ISD continues progress on creation of district police department

Lake Travis ISD will see the creation of its first police department in the 2021-22 school year. (Brain Rash/Community Impact Newspaper)
Lake Travis ISD will see the creation of its first police department in the 2021-22 school year. (Brain Rash/Community Impact Newspaper)

Lake Travis ISD will see the creation of its first police department in the 2021-22 school year. (Brain Rash/Community Impact Newspaper)

The 2021-22 school year will see the creation of Lake Travis ISD's first police department following an initiative from district officials in December.

Since adopting a resolution authorizing Superintendent Paul Norton to begin the process of creating the department, the district has been taking the necessary steps to ensure new officers are on campus by the start of the upcoming school year.

The LTISD board of trustees met March 24 and unanimously approved the purchase of six police vehicles for a total of $271,041, which will be funded by the $253 million 2018 bond program.

The total cost will include the process of outfitting the vehicles, which will be Chevrolet Tahoes, for police use, according to Chief Financial Officer Pam Sanchez.

In December, Norton said the initial one-time cost of developing the department is projected to be under $400,000 with a yearly price tag estimated at a little over half a million dollars. The majority of the development funding would include the cost of vehicles, guns, ammunition and badges, Norton said.

In preparation for the police department, the district will also be required to update its local board policy, according to the district’s general counsel, Amber King.

The policy states employees of the district are not permitted to carry weapons on campus. However, in order to establish a police force, LTISD could amend this policy to permit the possession of firearms on campus solely for officers.

“We need to add one small sentence into that policy that would allow for the use of firearms by the specified employees, meaning the police officers,” King said.

The amended policy was brought to the board for review during the March 24 meeting. Trustees are scheduled to take action regarding the board policy at the April trustees meeting, according to King.

The next steps in the creation of the police department will include the hiring of a chief of police and department training, among other steps.

By Amy Rae Dadamo
Amy Rae Dadamo is the reporter for Lake Travis-Westlake, where her work focuses on city government and education. Originally from New Jersey, Amy Rae relocated to Austin after graduating from Ramapo College of New Jersey in May 2019.


Lingering symptoms, long-term impact of COVID-19 will take time to fully understand

Dr. Mary Katherine Theoktisto answers questions regarding the virus.

Salvation Pizza, opening in the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport June 16, is one of several new pizza options in the Austin area. (Courtesy Salvation Pizza)
Pie chart: See a map of 11 new, coming-soon pizza options in the Austin area

New spots include Above Ground Pizza opening in New Bruanfels after several permitting delays and Salvation Pizza feeding travelers at the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport

Austin City Council members finalized their spending plan for the federal stimulus dollars before adjourning for their summer recess that will stretch to late July. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin will dedicate $100M in federal stimulus funds to combating homelessness over two years

In one of their last detailed discussions before their summer break, council members secured funding for several of their individual priorities alongside homelessness allocations.

Photo of Congress Street
The Moontower Comedy Festival will return in September

Headliners for the four-day festival include Margaret Cho, Dave Attell and others.

Here is your guide to spending the weekend in the Lake Travis-Westlake region. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
5 things to do this weekend in the Lake Travis-Westlake area

Live music, markets and more events are taking place in the Lake Travis-Westlake region this weekend.

The extension of Kenney Fort Boulevard is underway north of Hwy. 79. (Amy Bryant/Community Impact Newspaper)
North-south road in Round Rock makes progress; homestead exemption OK'd in Leander and more Central Texas news

Read the top business and community news from the past week from the Central Texas area.

Candlewood Suites is located at 10811 Pecan Park Blvd., Bldg. 2, Austin. (Chris Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin City Council votes for improved coordination with local counties on homeless issues; no action taken on Williamson County Candlewood Suites purchase before summer break

Council members unaimously approved a resolution aimed at improving collaboration on homeless strategy between Austin and local county officials June 10.

Photo of a drive-thru vaccine clinic
Travis County and partners to hold multiple vaccine clinics over the weekend, June 11-13

A drive-thru clinic at the Travis County Expo Center, along with several other neighborhood pop-ups, will offer the Pfizer vaccine this weekend.

Five Below is coming soon to Bee Cave. (Amy Rae Dadamo/Community Impact Newspaper)
Five Below to open Bee Cave location

Five Below is scheduled to open a new location in the Shops at the Galleria shopping center.

Central Austin home prices reached a median price of $675,000 in April. (Olivia Aldridge/Community Impact Newspaper)
City Council votes to double Austin's homestead tax exemption

The exemption's increase from 10% to 20% of a homestead's value follows the passage of an additional exemption increase for senior and disabled Austinites last week.

Bee Cave city leaders and residents are considering how best to grow Central Park over the next several years. (Greg Perliski/Community Impact Newspaper)
A park's purpose: Bee Cave confronts how to grow Central Park

Beyond basic infrastructure, the city could bring an all-abilities play area to West Travis County.