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District approves SRO program with local police department

The Boyd ISD board of trustees unanimously approved a five-year agreement with Boyd Police Department for a new school resource officer program starting in the 2024-25 school year. Pictured are Boyd ISD school board president Kyle Erwin, Boyd PD lieutenant Ryan Erwin and Boyd ISD superintendent Tom Woody. MICAH MCCARTNEY | WCMESSENGER

The Boyd ISD board of trustees unanimously approved a partnership with the Boyd Police Department to implement a new plan for the district’s school resource officers. 

After considering proposals from Boyd PD and Wise County Sheriff’s Office during the district’s regularly-scheduled monthly meeting Monday, trustees voted 6-0 to green-light the agreement with the city’s law enforcement agency. Trustee Aaron Lambert was absent.  

“I’m excited, and I’m looking forward to the partnership with the district,” said Boyd PD lieutenant Ryan Erwin, who will oversee the new SRO program. “I grew up here in Boyd, and I’ve lived here all of my life. I went Kindergarten through 12th grade here, and I’m a graduate of the Class of 1997. I’m very passionate about the safety of our children and our school district. I’m look forward to building relationships with the administrators, principals, teachers and children.”  

According to the agreement, the SRO joint-partnership will begin in begin August 1, 2024 and will end on August 1, 2030.

After three years of the program, either party would be able to withdraw from the agreement after submitting a 120-day notice. The program will renew for a one-year term after the initial five years unless the district or the police department requests termination or modification in writing.   

Previously, Boyd ISD paid $50,000 for each of its three SROs through WCSO at the elementary, intermediate/middle and high school campuses. At the meeting Monday, WSCO lieutenant Heinrich Downes and Officer John Mosley informed board members that the annual cost per SRO would increase by $5,000 beginning in the 2024-25 school year. 

“The sheriff’s office did a fine job, and that’s not a dig at them,” Erwin said. “I just feel like we’re passionate, and these are our kids. We don’t have to have a deputy coming to Boyd ISD schools from another part of the county. We’re going to have dedicated employees, and there’s not going to be any gaps in coverage.”

The new plan with Boyd PD is price-tagged at between $413,540 and $465,400 annually, which includes employee pay and benefits, vehicles and training, as well as uniform, tactical and medial equipment.

The cost the district between $75,000 and $84,450 per SRO, bringing its yearly contribution to between $225,000 and $253,350.

“My thought is I’d like to give [Boyd PD] a chance,” Place 5 trustee Trae Luttrell said before the vote. “I have no problem with anyone who works for the County — they’re good people. But I’d like to give the city a chance because they’re right here, and they’re invested in this community, not the whole county… I know it’s a little bit more money, but that’s my stance on it.”

Additionally, the City of Boyd will contribute between 48.35 and 57.07 percent of the program’s annual cost — between $181,790 and $240,400.

“All of the campuses of Boyd ISD are currently located in our city,” Boyd City Administrator Dwayne Taylor said. “Over the past 15 years, the City’s had a really strong relationship with the school district. A few years ago because of staffing and finances, the city had to step away (from its previous SRO plan with the district), and the sheriff’s department was able to fill in that gap. But it’s always been the city’s intention to return to that program. During the day, we have 1,200-1,300 students at the campuses, and they’re our responsibility and our future. For the City, it’s an investment in ourselves, and it’s a personal interest for us.”

The program’s details include plans for three SROs — a female SRO would be stationed at the high school who holds credentials as a master peace officer, police instructor, hostage negotiator and certified firefighter; a certified male SRO with 20 years of active law enforcement experience as a master peace officer, police instructor, firearms instructor at the joint intermediate/middle school campus; and a male SRO with 30 years of experience as a certified firefighter, paramedic, bomb technician, arson investigator and hazmat technician at the elementary school. 

All SROs would report to Erwin, who will spend a minimum of two hours a week evaluating staff on campus. He will also meet weekly with campus administrators “to ensure all needs are met and evaluate any programs ares which could be improved.” 

Tessa Smith, a certified peace officer, is listed as the community outreach director. Under the new plan, Smith would spend a minimum of four hours per week reviewing SRO relationships with students and faculty.  

Any criminal offenses that may occur on school grounds will be documents and assigned to Erwin for investigation. He will provide information on all investigation to campus administrators and board of trustees to the extent allowed by law.

Any violent crimes such as assault or other crimes against persons will be addressed by Erwin and the police department.

Incidents classified as disorderly conduct, fighting or any mutual combat incident may be resolved on an administrative level, if the district chooses.

SROs will be unable to enforce administrative regulations outside the scope of state or local laws, other than reporting incidents and ensuring there are no safety concerns, and cannon enforce civil processes such as truancy or resident verification.

The new program will allow for law enforcement to travel with an administrator to a student’s home for a welfare check, but SROs cannot engage in school-related discussions. 

SROs will also work with administrators and the district’s facility maintenance director to ensure all campus doors are secure and in working order, and will not allow unauthorized visitors to gain access to school facilities during school hours. They will also conduct a weekly security inspection of their assigned campus and report findings to Erwin and the district’s safety officer. 

Before leaving campus, each SRO, who will work from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. each school day, will ensure all students have exited, unless supervised by a school official.

SROs may extend their hours Mondays through Fridays depending on student activities or school release traffic. If the district continues its current plan of dismissing classes one hour earlier on Fridays, SROs will utilize the time after student dismissal to conduct a full security inspection of campuses.

In other business, trustees approved a dual credit agreement with University of Texas OnRamps, a dual credit partnership agreement with Weatherford College for the 2024-25 school year.

The board also approved the cross country program’s proposed out-of-state summer training trip to Boulder, Colorado, and the high school cheer squad’s proposed trip to New York City in November to perform in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Trustees unanimously approved a total of three resignations, including Kaitlin Davis (BES), Jacqueline Wilson (BIMS) and Amanda Mathews (BHS). A total of five new teachers were hired by the district — Lori King (BES), Sherry Purdue (BES), Lisa Roderick (BES), Hannah Morris (BIMS) and John Brinkley (BHS). 

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