Nearly two years after the Round Rock Police Department notified Round Rock ISD that it could not continue to provide school resource officers beyond the 2020-21 academic year, school safety remains at the fore.
The RRISD board of trustees is weighing options of creating an independent police force; contracting a police force through the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office; and/or pursuing additional, yet-to-be-specified school safety strategies.
The board took action to amend a resolution concerning campus safety in a special meeting Feb. 19.
The original resolution, titled “Round Rock ISD Resolution to Establish a Police Department in RRISD,” passed on a 5-2 vote in June. Trustees Steve Math and Charles Chadwell voted against the resolution.
The document outlined the board’s purpose for “further exploration and consideration of the establishment of the RRISD PD.” It also established the possibility to create a RRISD chief of police.
However, the resolution was changed Feb. 19 on a 6-0 vote. Math was absent.
“RRISD Board of Trustees hereby determines that further exploration is needed to determine the proper school safety strategies and hereby authorizes the continued exploration and consideration of the establishment of a Round Rock ISD PD and/or other school safety strategies to consider all aspects of school safety to all RRISD campuses to ensure the safety of all students and staff,” the Feb. 2019 resolution states.
A police exploration task force—created by the board in summer 2018—is developing a list of three to five suggestions for school safety and policing, according to the resolution.
Composed of residents, parents and district staff, the task force will present an update—either a final recommendation or a progress report—to the board of trustees April 18.
“I feel confident that the citizens will get it right and that they’re doing their absolute best,” trustee Amy Weir said.
Until the board of trustees votes on a recommendation, Round Rock ISD will continue to contract its school resource officers through the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office, Austin Community College and the Round Rock Police Department.
“We all just need to remain conscious of the fact that the clock is ticking on the 2020-21 academic year being the last one that the city of Round Rock has said they could service,” Chief of Schools and Innovation Daniel Presley said.
Here is the resolution that passed in June.
Here is the amended resolution that passed in February.