HAYS COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — On Tuesday, the Hays County Commissioners approved a resolution supporting Hays CISD in providing an armed School Resource Officer at each campus.
The resolution states that the county, the Hays County Sheriff’s Office and Hays CISD are working together on a plan to get 15 additional SROs.
“The HCISD and the HCSO envision implementing a phase-in approach to providing such additional SROs as funding is allocated for the positions,” the resolution stated.
House Bill 3
This comes as new legislation, House Bill 3, requires school districts to have at least one armed security officer at every campus.
Districts have the option to claim a Good Cause Exception to HB 3. Hays CISD did that back in August.
According to the resolution, the district said it can’t comply because of a “lack of available qualified personnel.”
The resolution said the board would develop and document an alternative standard.
“They didn’t tell us how long that exception was good for,” said Head of District Safety Jeri Skrocki.
Skrocki said they’re looking at guardian and school marshal programs as possible alternatives in the meantime.
“We’re actually researching. I’ve got my team actually calling across the state with a bunch of questions so that we can really figure out what’s the best fit for Hays CISD,” she said. “They’re calling every school district, and asking them questions about their program.”
‘It takes time’
Skrocki said there are several different barriers to filling those extra SRO positions.
“There is a law enforcement shortage out there. So we’re very reasonable and understanding that that’s probably a years long process to work towards that,” Skrocki said. “The reality is, it takes time to train good qualified peace officers and to find the right officer.”
Skrocki said ideally she’d have all the SROs she needed, however, that isn’t the case and there’s no telling when that’ll happen.
“I’m also very realistic that in the meantime, we’re going to have to come up with, you know, manage those other schools with our Guardian or Marshal program,” Skrocki said.