- Real Estate
- Paris Flash
Paris Independent School District’s new Department of Safety and Security is ready to go to work when school starts in a couple of weeks.
“It will allow you as a school district more of a say in how everything is done,” Brad Ruthart, director of the PISD Department of Safety and Security, told the school board Monday. “It gives us the ability to conduct things the way we want. We can be a lot more proactive in some situations, which will be an asset.”
The district is still waiting for its certification from Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education. Superintendent Paul Jones said there’s a backlog of about 30 school districts. That won’t delay DSS operations, though.
“We have hired six safety and security officers,” Jones said. “All of them are T-CLEOSE certified. They are police officers licensed to carry a firearm on school property.”
Board members approved an interlocal agreement with the city of Paris, which includes mutual aid and support between both departments.
The board also approved a memorandum of understanding with the Paris Police Department to delineate the duties of PISD’s officers:
The memorandum acknowledges that both the DSS and police department have overlapping jurisdiction and says the idea is “ to create a cooperative atmosphere between them and to assist one another in the notification and investigation of certain criminal offenses occurring within the territorial jurisdictions of the two entities.”
The MOU outlines communication duties between the two departments, such as accidents or felonies. It also says PISD will notify the police department before releasing information to the media regarding an incident investigated by PISD.
The agreement outlines the duties in case of investigations, including:
Board President George Fisher asked if having those officers on each campus meant there might be assault rifles secured somewhere at school. Several officers have personal AR-15s, Ruthart said. Some may keep one secured and locked up on campus.
Jones said he understood the issue, but officers need to have the right tools for the job, and perpetrators may have their own assault weapons.
“A pistol is like going to gun fight with a knife,” he said.
By Jeff Parish, eParisExtra