Round Rock ISD looks to extend school officer contract with WilCo, while evaluating 'other options'

Trustee Amber Feller briefed the Round Rock ISD board of trustees on a revised interlocal agreement with Williamson County on Oct. 17.

Trustee Amber Feller briefed the Round Rock ISD board of trustees on a revised interlocal agreement with Williamson County on Oct. 17.

Round Rock ISD is one step closer to a long-term school resource officer program, following board action Oct. 17.

In a 6-0 vote, with Trustee Nikki Gonzales absent, the board approved a revised interlocal agreement that outlines staffing, roles, responsibilities and training requirements for a Williamson County-led SRO program.

As it stands, few details have been revealed publicly. The interlocal agreement is labeled “confidential,” according to board president Chad Chadwell.

“I don’t know why this is confidential,” Chadwell said during the board meeting. “I don’t know why the public can’t see this.”

Community Impact Newspaper submitted an open records request to obtain a copy of the document.

According to Trustee Amber Feller, the revised agreement has not yet been presented to the Williamson County Sheriff’s Department or the Williamson County Commissioners Court. Ultimately, the commissioners will have to adopt the agreement for it to become effective.

“I support what is in this document,” Trustee Mason Moses said. “Whatever we end up doing, this is a great outline for what it needs to look like from a training standpoint, from a role and responsibility standpoint, from a staffing standpoint. If the Commissioners Court approved this, I’d be over the moon. But I don’t expect it.”

During a Sept. 24 meeting, Williamson County Commissioners approved a contract with Round Rock ISD to supply school resource officers through the 2020-21 school year. However, County Judge Bill Gravell made clear that he is not in favor of extending the contract any farther.

“Our relationship has gone from providing one part-time, off-duty deputy to the point where the trustees are offended that the county will not commit to providing 27 deputies,” Gravell said. “This is not how the county is designed to operate.”

During discussion of the interlocal agreement Oct. 17, the RRISD board directed district staff to begin compiling information on steps required to create a district-run police department. Should the county fail to move ahead with the interlocal agreement, board members said they wanted to be ready to move forward with other options.

Feller requested a presentation at the November board meeting with a proposed staffing model and updated salaries for a district-run department.

“Let’s keep the momentum going on other options,” Moses said. “Our kids’ safety is too important for us to keep waiting and waiting and waiting.”

He added: “We’ve been letting other people dictate our school safety and security future to us, instead of taking ownership of it. This is a really big issue that I think we need to be proactive on rather than reactive to the county.”
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