Keep Wilco SROs in RRISD Schools
We support a new agreement for the Williamson County Sheriff's Office (WCSO) to continue to provide School Resource Officers (SROs) for Round Rock ISD's SRO program beyond June 2021.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION (not part of petition language)
The current agreements with WCSO and with Round Rock PD to provide SROs at RRISD’s high school and middle school campuses expire in June 2021. Following Round Rock PD’s notification that it will not participate after 2021, RRISD's Board of Trustees launched a Safety & Security Task Force in 2018 to evaluate alternatives. The Task Force reported its findings to RRISD's Board of Trustees in September 2019 after a year of evaluating options. The Task Force estimated that a District police department will have annual operating costs at least 40% higher than WCSO because it will have to duplicate overhead and infrastructure that WCSO already has. In addition, Superintendent Flores repeatedly stated that WCSO is the best option for the District: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1wX1h1kGLeMEtLTjinQ-g-4k93eBw5vr3
Since the Wilco Sheriff's Office is the lowest total cost to taxpayers and has a long record of high quality service, RRISD's Board of Trustees renewed efforts to negotiate with County officials in good faith. A new agreement was submitted to Wilco in November and awaits approval from Wilco’s Commissioners Court, which is tentatively scheduled to discuss it during its meeting on December 17, 2019.
The proposed agreement will benefit the County by assuring public safety, which is the County's highest responsibility, in the most cost effective manner for County taxpayers. WCSO will provide SROs to campuses previously covered by Round Rock PD, which will result in no net increase in the size of government within the County. The County will also benefit by having resources available when school is not in session to cover for other WCSO deputies who may be on vacation or in training.
The proposed agreement resolves concerns expressed by County officials regarding the current agreement with RRISD. For example, the proposed agreement requires RRISD to reimburse Wilco for the FULL cost of the SRO program so that taxpayers in other areas of Wilco do not subsidize RRISD. It also clarifies SRO roles and responsibilities to assure that District staff do not interfere in law enforcement matters or require SROs to enforce District policies and engage in disciplinary matters. And it clarifies training requirements to assure that SROs are properly prepared to serve in a school environment.
To sum up, the proposed agreement is a win for all parties, and the Wilco Commissioners Court should approve it as soon as possible to honor its commitments to public safety and fiscal responsibility.