Local DFW area school districts approve additional campus security measures in FY 2018-19 budgets

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Editor’s note: The number of employees approved by the Frisco ISD board of trustees has been updated.

In response to recent public safety scares, several school districts in the Dallas-Fort Worth area have reevaluated their safety resources on campus, and have approved additional funding toward security improvements.

Frisco, McKinney, Plano, Lewisville, Grapevine-Colleyville and Carroll ISDs all have recently allocated additional funds into their fiscal year 2018-19 budgets to enhance campus security. These funds include hiring additional school resource officers, who are police officers trained to work in schools, or SROs.

Here is a look at what school districts in the area included in their budgets:

Carroll ISD

Southlake Mayor Laura Hill is partnering with the city’s Crime Control Prevention District to provide more than $500,000 in the 2018-19 school year budget toward implementing new and effective security initiatives in Southlake schools, she said in a YouTube video in May.

The funds will go toward research and exploration of the most effective forms of security and monitoring features to use at CISD campuses.

In Fall 2018, CISD will implement the Resiliency Project, which will include a parent university with speakers and breakout sessions for parents regarding issues of self-care and mental wellness, health and nutrition, bully prevention and kindness, conflict resolution and coping skills, self-defense, personal safety, drug and alcohol education and suicide prevention.

Carroll ISD currently has 11 full-time SROs, with one located at each school in the district. CISD has more than 350 security cameras district-wide, and the district’s 2017 bond program will fund an additional 500 cameras for CISD schools.

More information on CISD’s security features can be found here. 

Frisco ISD

The FISD board of trustees approved $1.6 million in allocated funds toward contingencies for safety, security and counseling intervention in the FY 2018-19 budget.

The board approved hiring additional prevention personnel, including six crisis counselors at high schools, 38 campus instructional support facilitators at elementary schools and one FISD emergency manager. In addition, the district has contracted with a phone application called Stop It, which has two-way phone recording and video sending capabilities so that students can send tips on suspicious activity and be contacted back for further information.

“A lot of times when we get these tips we don’t have anyway to reach out to whoever reported it, and [Stop It] gives us that opportunity,” FISD’s Director of Security Kevin Howler said at the FISD budget meeting in June. “Sometimes all we need is just a little more information to do a more thorough investigation.”

FISD has also established a high school Student Safety and Security Group, which allows students to inform administrators of security threats that they are aware of that the faculty and staff may not see.

FISD also plans to purchase handheld magnetometers, which are metal detector wands that will be provided to the middle and high schools. Frisco Police Department will work with FISD to develop a training program and protocol process.

Some FISD parents have suggested the addition creating student ID badges and scheduling parent patrols. Parents have also offered to pay a separate safety fee to further fund security measures.

Currently, Frisco ISD has one full-time SRO in each high school and middle school in the district, and the middle school SROs are also responsible for two or three elementary schools.

More information about FISD’s security features can be found here.

Grapevine-Colleyville ISD

GCISD approved $434,490 allocated to security and monitoring services in the FY 2018-19 budget, increasing funds by $16,599.

GCISD currently has six full time SROS, with one at each high school and one at each middle school.

More information on GCISD’s security features can be found here.

Lewisville ISD

Lewisville ISD approved funding the expansion of its SRO program in the FY 2018-2019 budget. It is anticipated that the annual expense for SROs will be $1.69 million.

Starting with the 2018-19 school year all middle schools and high schools in LISD will have SROs.

The number of SROs currently provided by each municipality and the anticipated amount of additional SROs in 2018-19 is as follows:

• Lewisville: six SROs currently, plans to add three SROs and one sergeant.

• Flower Mound: six SROs currently, plans to add three SROs and one sergeant.

• Carrollton: two SROs currently, plans to add two SROS and possible ancillary costs or supervisor.

• The Colony: two SROs currently, plans to add one SRO.

• Highland Village: one SRO currently.

McKinney ISD

The MISD board of trustees approved the hiring of one security position and two additional SROs in the FY 2018-19 budget. The new SRO’s will patrol campus hallways and respond in the case of emergency situations at MISD elementary schools.

MISD currently has 11 full time SROs, including two at each high school and one at each middle school. MISD must wait to hire the additional SROs until the city of McKinney approves its annual FY 2018-19 budget in September.

The MISD board also approved the hiring of three additional crisis counselors called IMPACT counselors. The district currently has one at each high school, and once hired, there will be two IMPACT counselors at each high school within the district.

More information on MISD’s security features can be found here. 

Plano ISD

In April, Plano board of trustees approved a $2.7 million expenditure toward updating video surveillance systems throughout the district.

Plano Police Department has since begun recruiting and training 15 additional SROs and one sergeant who will patrol Plano campuses starting in August 2019, bringing the number of SROs in PISD from nine to 24.

The district will also install new public address systems over the summer in senior high schools, which will broadcast a message in the event of an emergency.

PISD Superintendent Sara Bonser said that she plans to install a social-emotional learning educational program in PISD elementary, middle and high schools.

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  1. A question — While I totally applaud increasing our safety/security for the school campuses However…. does that alleviate the point that the school district is being required to send money back to Austin as part of the Robin Hood clause ( Increasing market value with decreasing enrollment rates) as reported a few months ago? This feeds into a few recent articles dealing with offering tax incentives to businesses and increased property tax protests. As I look at my property taxes, over half of the monies go to the school system ( and I do not have children) — Are we now going to increase property taxes to complete both tasks – paying the state and pay for increased security?

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Emily Davis
Emily graduated from Sam Houston State University with a degree in multi-platform journalism and a minor in criminal justice in Spring 2018. During her studies, Emily worked as an editor and reporter at The Houstonian, SHSU's local newspaper. Upon graduation, she began an editorial internship at Community Impact Newspaper in DFW, where she was then hired as Community Impacts's first McKinney reporter in August. Three fun facts about Emily: 1.) She is lover of mystery novels, movies, TV shows and podcasts. 2.) She has an 11-year-old, 3-pound Pomeranian. 3.) She loves lacrosse, and was captain and then coach of her high school team.
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