Hutto ISD officials Aug. 24 will vote on a measure to expand the district's police department to comply with a new state law requiring armed school officers at Texas public and charter schools.

What's happening

The district is working to identify the best way to comply with HB 3, which will go into effect Sept. 1. HISD police Chief William Edwards said Aug. 10 that the district has a few options, ranging from simply expanding the police department so an armed officer is on each campus to contracting with third-party services or individuals with the appropriate certifications necessary to carry a firearm on campus.

Cost to the district

The total costs associated with the first method, Edwards said, would be around $1.38 million for the first year, accounting for one-time purchases—such as vehicles, individual equipment and psychological evaluations—in addition to ongoing salary costs from adding new full-time employees. Subsequent years would see around $691,295 in recurring costs, he said.

While the state has allocated some funding to offset the burden of costs associated with having an armed security guard on each campus, officials said this is not enough to cover the program. The board will decide whether to expand the police department to comply with this new requirement at its Aug. 24 meeting.