Stories to follow in 2019: Two Northwest Austin area school districts begin process to form own independent police forces

The Round Rock and Pflugerville ISDs are in the midst of creating their own police forces.

The Round Rock and Pflugerville ISDs are in the midst of creating their own police forces.

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Two area school districts begin process to form own independent police forces
Updated 3:19 p.m. Feb. 4:

Round Rock ISD's Police Exploration Task Force made up of residents, parents and staff members plans to make recommendations to the board of trustees in spring 2019. These recommendations could include forming an independent police force or contracting a police force through the Williamson County's Sheriff's Office, pending approval from the Williamson County Commissioner's Court.

Until the board of trustees votes on a recommendation, Round Rock ISD will continue to contract its school resource officers through the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office, Austin Community College and the Round Rock Police Department. The Round Rock Police Department, however, notified the district in March 2017 that due to staffing issues, RRPD could not continue to provide school resource officers beyond the 2020-21 academic year. Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody and Round Rock ISD Superintendent Steve Flores released a joint letter endorsing the creation of a district police department in April 2018.

What we reported


Round Rock ISD is in the process of exploring a transition away from contracting police officers from the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office, Austin Community College and the Round Rock Police Department in favor of forming an independent police force for the school district. In November, Pflugerville ISD began to phase out its interlocal agreement with Pflugerville Police Department.

The latest


RRISD currently contracts 23 police officers through its interlocal agreement and plans to directly employ a total of 24 officers by 2020. PfISD expects to maintain the size of its force, which totals 20 officers. District officers in PfISD and RRISD will have the same level of authority as current student resource officers and “must meet all minimum standards for peace officers,” according to the Texas Education Agency.

Editor's note: This post has been updated for clarity. 
By Emma Whalen
Emma is Community Impact Newspaper's Houston City Hall reporter. Previously, she covered public health, education and features for several Austin-area publications. A Boston native, she is a former student athlete and alumna of The University of Texas at Austin.


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