Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Sheriff’s Office, GISD enhance student safety through new agreement

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The Hood County Sheriff’s Office and the Granbury Independent School District have entered into a new agreement — specifically a memorandum of understanding — to enhance student safety.

According to the MOU, both the HCSO and GISD desire to enter into a memorandum of understanding with regard to communication and coordination of efforts between the agencies. This cooperative effort will assist in the agencies’ respective responsibilities and mission to serve the citizens of both Hood County and GISD.

"They're going to have tactical channels to talk amongst themselves, and that won't bother us; they won't be coming into dispatch,” Hood County Sheriff Roger Deeds said, during a regularly scheduled meeting of the Hood County Commissioners Court June 21. “The only way we're going to get something into dispatch on one channel is if they've got a critical incident or they need an ambulance, fire truck or law enforcement, then they can switch the channel over from whichever school they're at, call into dispatch at that point in time, and we'll dispatch it like a regular call.”

With an agreement already in place between the city of Granbury, GISD and the Granbury Police Department, Deeds said the GPD will be the main entity responding to any problems on campus, as most schools are in the city limits.

"We only have (STEAM Academy at) Mambrino out in the county, so the vast majority of their schools —unless something really bad happens — it'll be Granbury (PD) that's responding,” he said.

Deeds added that previously, HCSO was receiving second- or third-hand information during serious school incidents. However, with this new MOU in place, Deeds said HCSO will now receive “direct from the source” information.

"It's not going to do any extra stuff for overloading the dispatchers, but I think it'll help protect the kids; that's the main thing,” he added.

According to the MOU, GISD shall call and/or radio the HCSO’s Emergency Communications Center to advise of any serious incident that occurs within GISD. The HCSO ECC shall then dispatch an appropriate response per its current standard operating procedures.

The term “serious incident” includes, but is not limited to the following crimes, offenses or situations or evidence thereof:

  1. Any first degree felony;
  2. Murder or attempted murder;
  3. Aggravated robbery where a firearm or knife is used;
  4. Aggravated sexual assault;
  5. Sexual assault of an adult or a child;
  6. Any report of indecent exposure or solicitation of a child;
  7. Aggravated assault where a gun or weapon is used or threatened;
  8. Any bomb or explosive weapon is used or threatened;
  9. Any disturbance where a mass or group is involved (i.e., riot); or
  10. Any medical emergencies, due to the complexity of processing the call for service, should be sent via 911 and at last resort by radio.

The Hood County Sheriff’s Office ECC shall actively monitor one talk group designated by the Granbury Independent School District.

Either party may withdraw from and terminate the MOU on 90 days’ written notice to the other party. The MOU will also be reevaluated during the 2026 budget cycle to undergo a fiscal evaluation to see how many radio calls and dispatch calls are being routed through the ECC and to see how many man-hours are being devoted to the talk group.

Precinct 3 Commissioner Jack Wilson made a motion to enter into the memorandum of understanding between GISD and the HCSO. Following a second by Precinct 4 Commissioner Dave Eagle, the motion passed unanimously.