New Leander ISD Police Department approved

Leander ISD administration proposed a resolution and budget amendment to create the Leander ISD Police Department at the November 9 board of trustees meeting and at its November 30 meeting approved the creation of LISD PD.

The LISD Board approved a resolution establishing the Leander ISD Police Department. This resolution comes after months of pursuing the safest and most secure option to meet the requirement of placing an armed security officer at each campus, as directed by the passing of House Bill 3 in the 88th Texas Legislature’s regular session.

“The safety and security of our students and staff is the district’s top priority,” said LISD Board president Gloria Gonzales-Dholakia. “This is an area in which LISD already excels, and I’m confident in the vision set forward, one that keeps culture and relationship-building at the forefront while ensuring a safe and innovative learning environment.”

During the November 30 meeting, the Board also approved an amendment to the current 2023–24 budget to provide funding for 10 Single-Role Marshals and administrative positions, including the chief of police.

For the initial phase, the estimated cost is $1.1 million and includes the following staff:

  • 10 Marshals
  • Chief of Police
  • Assistant Chief of Police
  • Administrative Assistant

These board actions allow the district to take initial steps in immediately bolstering on-campus security presence with the marshals – in addition to the contracted School Resource Officers (SROs) already in place at each high school through partnerships with the Leander and Cedar Park police departments and the Travis County Sheriff’s Office. 

It will also allow LISD to be able to work toward the application to the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE) in the months ahead in order to become an authorized police department.

Once the police department is established, LISD can begin hiring its own School Resource Officers (SROs) and moving forward with the long-term vision laid out in the Aug. 24 meeting.

It’s important to note that armed security is only one aspect of this house bill. LISD will continue to maintain current safety protocols in place, including weekly door audits and standard response protocol drills. Additional security projects are in the works, including force-resistant film for ground-level windows and windowed doors, storage function door latches for interior and portable doors, digital mapping of LISD buildings for emergency responders, additional cameras at all levels, and exterior fencing.

This report is part of the Leander ISD Board Briefs.