Eanes ISD police department safety officers took their oath of office during a badge pinning ceremony March 6.

The EISD board of trustees approved the formation of the police department in June, authorizing an armed officer on each of its 10 campuses to enhance safety and security.

The safety officers began their roles in August but were officially sworn in during the March 6 ceremony.

Meet the team

Robin Henderson, interim chief of police of the Austin Police Department, said the officers selected have all honorably retired from various law enforcement capacities.

The following officers were sworn in during the ceremony:
  • Matthew Greer, chief of police
  • Brent Kelly, lieutenant, Hill Country Middle School
  • Matt Jones, West Ridge Middle School
  • Veneza Bremner, Barton Creek Elementary
  • Kevin Rybarski, Bridge Point Elementary
  • Mike Cowden, Cedar Creek Elementary
  • Rod Mayberry, Eanes Elementary
  • America Bonnet, Forest Trail Elementary
  • Juan Zaccheus, Valley View Elementary
Officers Shelly Borton and Kristof Oborski will be sworn in later this spring and become the safety officers at Westlake High School.

Zooming in

Per a district news release, the officers will:
  • Respond to emergency incidents on their campus
  • Enforce district policies and regulations that pertain to safety and disruption
  • Provide safety education and training to students, faculty and staff
  • Coordinate security efforts with school officials and law enforcement agencies
  • Develop positive relationships with students and the community
“They’ll spend most of their day monitoring the campus—physical security, social and emotional well-being of our staff and kids, making sure everybody’s feeling safe,” Greer said. “They’ll be checking doors a lot; helping with traffic, and pickup and drop-off; helping with lunch monitoring; and just building relationships. Really, that’s the main thing, [and] our officers have already built wonderful relationships.”

How we got here

Henderson said while the implementation of the department goes “hand in hand” with the passage of House Bill 3—which went into effect Sept. 1 and requires one armed security officer on campus during school hours—Greer was ahead of the bill.

“[Greer] started on this endeavor long before state law was even being considered,” Henderson said. “He recognized the potential deficiencies in school safety and sought to start a police department solely for the safety and security of your children, faculty and staff.”

Quote of note

Henderson thanked the officers and district officials for “acting with foresight instead of hindsight.”

“Some might ask, is this necessary?” Henderson said. “Sadly, it is the reality and a reflection of the times that we’re facing today, which is truly unfortunate. However, collectively, we have an obligation to ensure the safety of our school children, faculty and staff. ... We cannot keep relying on teachers or volunteers to remain vigilant. While this is still very important, and they will still continue to do so, our teachers need to focus on educating our children, and our children can focus on learning, growing and developing.”