“Three Rivers is not the same Three Rivers it was a year ago,” Police Chief Vance Roberts told the council on Monday night. “We need an officer at the school five days a week.”
Roberts said the officer would not only be a presence on the campuses to deter misbehavior, but work to teach students about the dangers of drugs and alcohol.
Last year there were 32 drug and alcohol incidents at the middle school alone.
“We need to start educating our children,” Roberts said.
TRISD Superintendent Kenneth Rohrbach told the council that having the officer would go along way toward reducing problems.
“When we had a resource officer in the past, incidents went way down,” he said.
Rohrbach also alluded to the changes in the community as a result of the Eagle Ford boom.
“We’re getting a different kind of kid in here than we used to,” he said. “These are not our homegrown kids.”
The council discussed the expense of hiring an officer in the middle of the fiscal year, but City Secretary Rosie Forehand said, “If it’s necessary, the money’s there.”
Alderman Sam Garcia asked that the school district try to help support the officer, either by paying part of his salary or buying equipment.
In the past when the district has helped pay the salary of the resource officer when it has had one, but Rohrbach said the district’s financial situation is tight.
Roberts said TRPD Officer Ray Medrano would be the school resource officer. He is currently undergoing training in Houston. A new officer will be hired to take Medrano’s place as a patrol officer.
The council also approved renaming Three Rivers Municipal Park to Hilbert H. Kopplin Memorial Park.
Kopplin was a Live Oak County Commissioner for more than 32 years. He was still in office when he died in April 2002 at age 74.