HUNTSVILLE — The Huntsville ISD school board approved an expanded deal with the Huntsville Police Department to provide added security to campuses.
Assistant Superintendent Sonny Cruse presented the plan to the board at Thursday night’s meeting, which was unanimously approved by board members with little discussion. The unwritten agreement would use processes and funds already in place to provide the additional security.
“The system HPD allows us to hire additional security like already done at football games,” he said. “We’ll have access to HPD, Walker County Sheriff’s Office and DPS officers. They’re already TCLEOSE certified; they are trained security; they all use the same radio system; and they all have full police authority to make arrests.”
HPD’s system in place allows the school district to hire security at a rate of $25 per hour, which would be funded by the school district’s now-approved additional security funding also approved at Thursday’s meeting.
Cruse said the administration of the added security would be handled by the district’s current head of security.
At the first budget workshop in June, the board considered hiring a private security firm with armed guards to station officers at least one at each school. This was branded controversial by some board members like Karin Olson-Williams who was wary of putting more people on campuses with guns, especially those not certified through the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officers Standards and Education standards.
All of the officers that would be contracted by HISD would be in-practice law enforcement officers. This would not be limited to HPD officers, but could include other local law enforement from the Walker County Sheriff’s Office and Department of Public Safety.
The district will begin contracting officers at the beginning of the year.