McKinney ISD officials have approved the contracts for 11 armed security guards.

The district’s board of trustees approved the personnel contracts and authorized the employees to carry a firearm Oct. 18. The guards will be full-time employees of MISD, rather than hired out through a third party, said trustee Amy Dankel.

“Now, we have every campus covered with a security officer,” trustee Stephanie O’Dell said.

The overview

The hired armed security guards are authorized to carry a firearm in:
  • Schools
  • School board meetings
  • School-sponsored or school-related events
The new guards have nearly 250 collective years of experience, according to information presented by Superintendent Shawn Pratt.

The guards come from backgrounds in state and national police roles, including the Chicago, New York City, McKinney and Collin College police departments, among others, he said.

“It speaks a lot to the quality of people that [are] recruited to McKinney ISD for safety and security,” Pratt said.

The background

The McKinney Police Department provides 16 school resource officers to the district.

According to House Bill 3, which went into effect Sept. 1, a qualifying armed officer must be on campus during regular school hours. This could be a school resource officer, but it could also be a school marshal or a private security officer.

As part of a multilayered approach to school safety, district officials hired former law enforcement officers to act as school marshals and hired licensed security officers to meet the state requirement. The board of trustees passed an exception to allow for the implementation of the mixed strategy at its Aug. 14 meeting.