The Conroe ISD board of trustees approved a 2.5% pay raise for all CISD employees during the Nov. 14 board meeting. Matthew Blakelock, chief of police for the district, said the package also included a pay raise for police officers.

What you need to know

The Conroe ISD Police Department is raising its starting salary for police officers to $58,900. Blakelock said that is an annual increase of $8,537.

New officers that started with the district were previously receiving an annual salary of $50,363, he said.

"With the passing of HB 3 during this past legislative session, a lot of agencies had to substantially raise their pay to give a competitive edge to the market," Blakelock said. "We needed to do the same in order to get good, qualified police officers to come serve our district."

In neighboring districts that also have their own police departments, starting pay includes annual salaries of:
  • Cypress-Fairbanks ISD: $53,602
  • Klein ISD: $60,736
  • Montgomery ISD: $45,000
  • Spring ISD: $60,000
Blakelock said he is hoping the pay increase will help attract more qualified candidates to CISD so he can staff every campus with at least one police officer for an entire school day per House Bill 3 guidelines.

"In law enforcement in general, there is a lot of competition," he said. "We have really high standards in Conroe ISD, and we want to make sure that we have the highest quality officers. There is nothing more important than protecting our students and staff in our schools, so we hope to start seeing a lot of results and quickly."

Existing CISD police officers also received an increase in salary as part of the pay raise package passed by the board in November.

Also of note

Blakelock said the police department is also opening a new position for hire—a police liaison officer. The liaison would be an officer for the district who only works 202 days versus the usual 262 days, and the officer will only work during the school year when children are in classes.

The starting pay for a police liaison officer is the same as a full-time employee although they do not work the full year, Blakelock said. Blakelock said this position typically attracts former police officers or sheriffs who want to still be in the line of duty without the full-time commitment.