On Monday, Wharton County Commissioners approved a memorandum of understanding between the county and the school districts of Louise and Boling.
The MOU outlines the responsibilities of each entity to have a deputy with Wharton County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) posted at each district during the school year.
The discussion began when Louise ISD and Sheriff Shannon Srubar began looking into having a deputy present full time during school hours. Boling ISD joined the conversation shortly after.
Both districts border opposing Wharton County lines, are smaller districts, and neither have a school-funded police department.
“We know how important having a deputy nearby during school is,” Srubar told The County Gin. “Without having an assigned deputy on location, we’re at the mercy of calls and what else could be occurring in the county at that particular time.”
The sheriff explained that having a school resource officer (SRO) through the county offers benefits for the districts, as well as the sheriff’s office.
“We would provide the uniforms, patrol unit, and we would divide the salary of the officer with the districts,” Srubar told The Gin. “Even if the assigned SRO should need a leave of absence, we would provide another deputy to ensure there is always a SRO in place.
“We are also adding two additional deputies to our office, which is greatly needed.”
The SRO’s salary is an approximate 70:30 ratio — the ISD would reimburse the county for nearly 70%, leaving the county covering about 30%.
Once school lets out for summer, the SRO would continue his or her employment with the county, aiding the sheriff’s office.
Louise ISD previously approved the MOU and the resource officer will begin Nov. 1 for the district.
Boling ISD will meet in October to review and determine whether the district will enter into the agreement. If voted yes by the school board, the SRO for Boling would begin Nov. 1 or shortly after.
“Deputies on campus will allow officer presence while school is in session and offer deterrence for those wanting to commit crime,” Srubar told The Gin.
“In the event law enforcement is needed on campus, there will be an immediate response. I also look forward to the relationships that will be created. SROs can serve as mentors, counselors, role models and educators.”
For more information or to view court meeting minutes and agenda, visit the Wharton County website.