Arp ISD plans budget with proposed school district police department

ARP, TX (KLTV) - While school is out for the summer, Arp ISD is hard at work planning next year's budget- including the cost for a new school district police department.

"We're in the process at Arp of creating our own Arp ISD police department to better serve our students and our community," Superintendent John Arrington said. "Now in the course of that I [...] started researching the cost associated with this."

Arp ISD and Smith County must agree on the cost of dispatch services.

"We have to enter into an inter-local agreement according to TCOLE, with an entity regarding dispatch services," he said. "In the process of that investigation and research I came up with a cost to present to my school board, and that cost was $500."

Right now the county has the fee at $2,500.

Arrington doesn't know how much the new police department will cost but he has an estimate of the increase.

"As far as what we've done in the past [...] we had an officer that we paid approximately $30,000 to the city for," he said. "We want to create a position [and] have our own chief, bring them in, you know, probably at about $10,000 more."

Arp ISD's 2017-2018 security and monitoring services budget was just over $35,000. While Winona ISD which is similar in size and has a police department has a security budget at about $200,000.

The budget for Arp ISD's police department is still in preliminary stages, but Arrington said with a recent decrease in state funding every dollar counts.

"As a rural school district and for us specifically one that's lost over $800,000 in the past 2-4 years from the state, you know, please consider that," he said.

Arrington said he doesn't expect the district's security costs to significantly increase, but he said there isn't a price you can put on student's safety.

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