Lake Travis ISD has grown its police force and added security booths to Lake Travis High School amid a new school safety law.

The overview

House Bill 3 has required school districts to have an armed security guard at every campus and make security improvements to facilities since Sept. 1. While some local school districts have struggled to meet the law’s requirements, LTISD is one of the first in the area to fully staff its police department, according to the district’s website.

The Lake Travis ISD Police Department has been fully staffed with 14 officers since October when it hired two additional officers, said Marco Alvarado, LTISD executive director of communications and community relations. One officer is assigned to each of the district’s 10 elementary and middle school campuses while Lake Travis High School has three officers, he said.

Two officers are assigned full time at the high school while a lieutenant is sometimes present as the campus is “far too large to be effectively covered with one officer,” Alvarado said. The police department also includes a police chief who is not assigned to a campus.

What else?

Drivers visiting Lake Travis High School must now pass a security checkpoint before entering from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. The district opened two security houses at Lake Travis High School entrances at Spillman Loop and Cavalier Drive on Nov. 27, according to a letter from district administration.

The booths are intended to protect safety for students, staff and visitors by asking visiting drivers to share valid identification and their reason for visiting before passing through, according to the letter. Students must have a dismissal pass or an appropriate sticker on their identification badge to leave campus.

Voters approved $425,300 for the security houses in the November 2022 bond election, Alvarado said.

The cost

The new law gives districts $15,000 per campus and $10 per student to implement its requirements. The district will receive around $273,000 in its school safety allotment this year while its police department is budgeted at over $1 million, Alvarado said.

In case you missed it

This fall, the district passed a security audit by the Texas Education Agency conducted through the Texas School Safety Center, Alvarado said. The audit took place at Lakeway Elementary School in October and Rough Hollow Elementary in November, he said.