“[Colleyville City Council] strongly believes it is important to have someone present [in schools] all the time based on things that are happening around the country,” Council Member George Dodson said at the Aug. 2 council meeting. “I’m very pleased to see this happen.”
Colleyville Police Sgt. Dara Nelson said the SROs will be allocated to schools within Colleyville city limits. Five will go to Grapevine-Colleyville ISD campuses. Liberty Elementary, which is part of Keller ISD, will get the sixth Colleyville SRO as it is located within the city.
The Colleyville Crime Control and Prevention District is primarily funded by a half-cent of city sales tax revenue. The district's budget allotted $543,174 in total salary and benefits for the six officers.
Colleyville currently has three full-time SROs assigned to Colleyville-Heritage High School, Colleyville Middle School and Heritage Middle School. During the Aug. 2 council meeting, Chief Michael C. Miller said the three officers were also assigned on a part-time basis to the city's other other campuses.
With the new officers, elementary schools Colleyville, Bransford, O.C. Taylor, Glenhope and Liberty will each have a full-time SRO assigned to the campus, according to the budget presentation. The Bridges Accelerated Learning Center and Vista Alternative Learning Center in GCISD will share a designated SRO.
“I appreciate the leadership in this project,” Miller said during the Aug. 2 council meeting. “I know that our kids are going to be safe because of that.”
GCISD schools located in Grapevine have SROs through Grapevine Police Department. SROs are assigned to Grapevine High School, Grapevine Middle School and Cross Timbers Middle School, according to the GPD’s website.
Nelson said it has always been a “desire” for Colleyville to have an SRO assigned to every school. CPD previously attempted to fund additional SROs through a grant, but Nelson said it did not get approved. The Robb Elementary School shooting in Uvalde and other shootings across the United States have been a “justification to drive home” why it is necessary to have an SRO in every school, Nelson said.
“We can have an officer there and intervene immediately,” Nelson said. “That’s going to be the best outcome.”
Because the SROs are part of the police force, Nelson said they will be subject to the same training as other police officers. This includes the police academy as well as field and service training. The number of sworn officers in Colleyville will be increased from 44 to 50, Nelson said.
The SROs will not only act as a liaison between the school and the district, but Nelson said they will also teach students about the consequences of crimes and educate teachers on “better ways to stay safe and secure in the building.”
“The purpose of an SRO is to build a relationship with all of the students and the staff,” Nelson said. “They are the best resource that everybody’s going to have if somebody wants to do harm to anybody in those schools or on those campuses.”
With the budget approved, Miller said it will take 12-18 months to hire and train the new SROs.
“[City Council] heard the community cry out,” Mayor Bobby Lindamood said in the meeting. “As a dad that has a kid still in school, I hear you, too.”