At the March meeting, the Prosper ISD board of trustees voted in a measure in what they hope will improve school security.
Board subcommittee members, Jim Bridges and Michelle McBride, made the recommendation at the meeting to employ three additional officers to ensure 100 percent coverage of PHS and improved coverage of the middle and elementary schools.
Last summer, the district began its own police department and hired the first district officer. The new measure will put officers on three additional campuses as well.
PISD Superintendent Drew Watkins said the board looked at putting an officer on each campus and keeping the status quo and everything in between. In the end, the board decided three new officers would provide adequate security in addition to the security measures already in place.
"Prosper is ahead of the curve of most districts in that we already have buzz-in lockdown systems at all of our campuses, a vast network of security cameras, bullet-resistant glass in key areas, etc.," Watkins said. "And although we continue to evaluate necessary facility upgrades with regard to improving security measures, the board ultimately felt adding three additional police officers would be a prudent next step allowing us to have more of a presence at PISD campuses and functions."
The district said the presence would allow officers to meet with students and discuss a variety of topics such as: the importance of good choices and the consequences of bad choices, how to seek help for yourself or a friend, how to cope with certain pressures as our students get older, drug education, and more.
The district also plans to continue to partner with the police departments of Prosper, Frisco, McKinney and Celina (all areas where current and future school sites could be located) to improve coverage.
"The PISD Police Department (led by Chief Davidson) continues to work closely with the Town of Prosper, City of McKinney, City of Frisco, City of Celina, and Collin County law enforcement to coordinate activities, training, appropriate coverage of events, etc. We are thankful for the Town of Prosper police department along with the other municipalities as we work together to provide the safest environment for our students and community as a whole," Watkins said.
The staff should be fully operational beginning in August in time for the new school year. The cost of the three new officers will be approximately $165,000.
"Given our continuous student growth and the consequential associated revenue, this will be funded without any changes to the existing budget," Watkins said.