AUSTIN (KXAN) — The new school year is now less than a month away for many Central Texas students, and several districts are adding new security positions to ensure campuses remain safe.
In a KXAN survey of more than 1,600 educators across Texas, 67% of teachers said they felt their school did not have enough security personnel on campus.
A lack of personnel at elementary schools was highlighted as a particular issue, especially after the shooting at Robb Elementary in Uvalde that claimed the lives of 19 children and two teachers.
KXAN reached out to every school district in the Austin metro area to ask if they have hired — or are in the process of hiring — new police officers, school resource officers or similar security personnel.
The map below shows the responses we have received so far, and additional information will be added to the map as we receive it.
If a district has added new positions for the 2022-23 school year, we have highlighted them in dark blue. Hover over or click on the map to see more information about a specific district.
New positions across the region range from hall and parking lot monitors to police officers.
Liberty Hill ISD is expanding its security presence the most. The district already has five officers in its police department, but it’s adding four more for the new school year.
LHISD continues to grow rapidly. Superintendent Steve Snell told KXAN back in January the enrollment had increased by about 3,000 in his three years with the district.
Meanwhile, several districts in Hays County are asking the sheriff’s office for more school resource officers. Hays CISD has requested three additional SROs, while Wimberley ISD has requested two, and Dripping Springs ISD has requested one.
HCISD Director of Safety and Security Jeri Skrocki said the new SROs would be assigned to elementary schools.
“They’ll be doing drive-bys, they’ll be sitting in parking lots, and then they’ll be doing walk-throughs through the schools, perimeter checks,” Skrocki said.
Austin ISD is not adding new positions to its police department for the new school year, but a spokesperson tells KXAN there is currently one vacant position.
AISD PD has 55 officers in total, as well as 20 command staff, including corporals, sergeants, lieutenants and the chief.