On July 31, 2023, ahead of the new Texas House Bill 3 going into effect, Allen ISD’s board of trustees unanimously approved the addition of armed security officers on every campus to comply with the new law.
Starting on the first day of school after the summer break on August 10, armed staff from the Texas-based security agency L&P Global Security will be present on 17 campuses in the district that lacked an assigned school resource officer (SRO). The measure comes almost one month before HB 3 goes into effect. “The best thing to do is to provide that security for our students and staff. Why would we wait a month to provide it when they're already in the building?" Assistant Superintendent of Operations at Allen ISD Brent Benningfield told NBCDFW.
As reported by CBS News, the one-year contract with L&P will cost the district $694,000 of which, $360,000 will be provided by the state and the district is looking for options to fund the remaining balance.
According to Benningfield, last year the state provided a safety allotment for the district. “Now, that money came attached essentially with a to-do list of physical safety features to add to buildings," Benningfield told NBCDFW "We can send our evidence of compliance to the state and ask that that money be re-appropriated or allowed for our board to be appropriate for other safety measures."
The contract with L&P will ensure security officers are at the campus to protect students against an active threat, starting 30 minutes before and after school but does not include security for after-school programs, which will be covered by the Allen Police Department.
Benningfield also told NBCDFW that the security company structured the contract to work like an SRO program. “They also have a plan for subs that if one of those individuals is out of illness or things, we have appropriated subs … In addition to that, they will provide us with a sergeant as a point of contact and someone to oversee the program.”
In addition to the security staff, L&P will create reports on the performance of its employees every six months.