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Sheriff officers will be placed in BISD schools

December 07, 2022 - 00:00
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The Bandera County Commissioners unanimously approved an interlocal agreement with BISD for the School Resource Officer Program, which will put armed officers into schools, as designated by the Sheriff’s office.

The decision, made Nov. 29 during a regular meeting of Commissioners’ Court, comes in the wake of the Uvalde shooting earlier this year. Sheriff Dan Butts explained to the court the school approached him about commissioning officers to the schools.

“At this time, with the money that’s available, we’re looking at two officers. The schools will have the officers for 190 days out of the year, and the Sheriff’s office will have them for the remainder of the day so that we can use them for patrol and other duties as needed at the sheriff’s office [after school hours].”

Per the agreement, a 75/25 split will be implemented.

The school will pay 75 percent of the officers’ salary, retirement, insurance and other expenses; the county will pay 25 percent. The sheriff’s office will supply cars for the schools, and those cars will be reimbursed to the county at the rate of $250 per month.

“These will not be take-home cars for the officers. It will be a car for them to have on hand while they are at the schools, for emergency reasons,” said Butts. “They will not be patrolling in the cars. They will be at the school to be security for the school. We want the car available to them as needed,” said Butts.

BISD Director of Operations Dayle Heiner told the commissioners their priorities for officers’ disbursement are to have one at Hill Country Elementary, since they are the farthest out and in a rural location, and another floating from campus to campus daily.

“We’re going to make sure that we don’t have the same schedule every day. It’s ‘gonna be rotated so we don’t have a pattern that can be followed. It’s also going to depend on what’s going on a specific campus.”

Heiner indicated school events that draw large crowds will require the officers’ presence. Butts told the court he would like to hire two new officers if he can find them. Otherwise, current officers can apply for the program.

“It will benefit us to have more officers,” added Commissioner Jody Rutherford.

Judge Evans asked if the School Resource Officers would need to be certified. Butts verified they will need to be trained and certified.

Per Heiner, the proposal will be presented to the school board on December 12 for final approval.