POSTED: Monday, February 11, 2013 - 11:33am
UPDATED: Monday, February 11, 2013 - 11:51am
Longview, TX — When West Rusk County Consolidated ISD school board trustees voted this past week to create a school police department, they joined the growing ranks of school districts taking action intended to ensure student safety.
While West Rusk and others are creating their own police force, some, like Longview and Spring Hill ISDs, contract with law enforcement agencies to supply school resource officers. Still others, like Union Grove ISD, are deciding to let staff members carry weapons on campus.
The solutions are as individual as the various districts.
West Rusk’s plan
West Rusk trustees voted to establish a district police force and hired New London Police Chief Paul Thompson to serve as the district’s initial employee. He is set to begin duties as school police chief March 4.
Thompson is a certified police officer who will be an employee of the school district. When districts contract with local police or sheriff’s departments, the officers remain employees of the city or county in which the school is located.
“We just felt that having a licensed peace officer who is also a district employee would provide the best level of security for our students,” said Lawrence Coleman, West Rusk assistant superintendent. “He’ll be in the schools on a daily basis, interacting with the kids and getting to know what their concerns are.”
Read more  from the Longview News-Journal.