The Willis ISD board of trustees approved hiring five more school resource officers Oct. 18 to officially meet the district's quota for House Bill 3.

What's happening?

According to district officials, the addition of five new officers will bring the district to being fully staffed with an officer at all campuses.
  • WISD's school resources officers are contracted through the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office.
  • The district currently contracts nine officers through the sheriff's department.
  • Montgomery County Sheriff Rand Henderson and Superintendent Tom Crowe will work together to hire the positions.
"With recent events and continued increasing enrollment, we need five additional school resource officers to cover all campuses, departments and events properly," Crowe said in an emailed statement. "We also have new mandatory requirements under Texas House Bill 3. We feel confident we can hire the officers as we continue to improve our safety precautions."

The background

HB 3 passed during the 88th Texas Legislature, requiring school districts in the state to provide one armed officer on all campuses during regular school hours.
  • Under the law, a district's board of trustees determined how to provide security at school campuses.
  • One of the options included entering a memorandum of understanding with outside law enforcement jurisdictions for school resource officers.
In April, WISD partnered with the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office to provide nine school safety officers before HB 3 was signed into law June 14, a change from partnering with the Precinct 1 Constable's Office to provide officers on campuses.

According to previous Community Impact reporting, former Superintendent Tim Harkrider said he endorsed the partnership with the sheriff's office to provide more safety for staff and students.

In other news

The board also approved the concept of WISD creating a tuition-based pre-K program during the Oct. 18 meeting. No details were shared on the program during the meeting, but Crowe said more details are expected to be shared in the near future.