The district’s board of trustees approved an agreement Aug. 22 between the city and the school district to provide two additional officers—for a total of seven—for the 2022-23 school year.
The city of Fort Worth will again cover the full cost of a mobile officer, while the school district and city will split the costs for six other officers who will be located at the Fort Worth high schools. The contract starts on Oct. 1 and runs until Sept. 30, 2023. The contract this school year is for $809,946. Last year the amount for four officers was $526,586.
Timber Creek High School, Fossil Ridge High School and Central High School will each get two SROs, and one mobile officer will support the remaining 25 schools located within the city limits.
The Fort Worth Crime Control and Prevention District will assist with funding the city's portion of the SRO cost, which is a 50-50 split between the city and KISD.
Kevin Kinley, KISD director of safety and security, fielded questions from board members prior to the 7-0 vote to approve the contract.
In the wake of the Robb Elementary School shooting in Uvalde in May, Board Member Ruthie Keyes questioned whether the high school SROs would respond to other schools in the district. Kinley noted these SROs will respond to calls at elementary and middle schools in Fort Worth.
“Police officers are going to do what they have to do; they will respond if we need them,” Kinley said. “That is their job, and that is what they are going to have to do. They will help us out as much as they possibly can."
A meeting with officials from both the district and the Fort Worth Police Department was held recently to discuss the contract. In addition to SROs inside the campuses, patrol officers will check on schools within their assigned districts.
Board Vice President Sandi Walker noted members of the Fort Worth Police Department are integrated in the elementary schools through the Read to Win program, where officers read books to students.
“Having a community engagement, and having a presence in the schools and reading to the students is pretty awesome,” Walker said.
If a school resource officer is out for illness or injury, Kinley said FWPD typically will call up a reserve officer or move an officer from another unit.
The cost of each additional officer, at the request of the district, would be $159,254 annually, according to the contract.
When queried as to what it would cost to have a dedicated officer at each KISD campus, Kinley said that number would depend on a lot of factors.
“It’s not just the cost, but it is the availability and what cities can provide for us,” he said.
The command staff involved in the Fort Worth SRO program includes one detective, five sergeants, two relief officers and one lieutenant, who is in charge of the unit, in addition to the officers within the schools.
The KISD/Fort Worth agreement also includes funding for the district’s share of the administrative operating fees and SRO-assigned patrol vehicles.
A total of 12 SROs will be working within KISD this school year across three cities.
The Keller Police Department will have one officer at Keller High School, one at Keller Middle School and one at Bear Creek Intermediate School, while the Keller Center for Advanced Learning and Indian Springs Middle School will share a school resource officer.
KISD's anticipated cost for Keller police officers is $391,364, which includes three full-time officers and one less-than-full-time officer.
KISD's Liberty Elementary, which is located in Colleyville, will have a school resource officer provided by the Colleyville Police Department. Colleyville is providing five other SROs to Grapevine-Colleyville ISD campuses. The cost for one officer at Liberty is $90,529, according to Colleyville Police Chief Michael E. Miller.