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PAISD to consider formation of police department

Having law enforcement presence on Port Arthur Independent School District property isn’t a new concept. Constables are there working truancy and police have been there are well.

On Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the administration building, trustees will consider the establishment of PAISD’s own police department and authorize the superintendent to recommend a chief of police to the board.

The district has participated in the Absent Student Assistance Project since around 2000 with Pct. 8 Constable E.J. Collins; a partnership that PAISD Superintendent Mark Portiere said helped them tremendously. After that Pct. 2 Constable Christopher Bates stepped in “and has been terrific.”

The ASAP program included nine officers, and two were assigned to truancy. Then truancy laws changed, he said, to where the school district had to go through more steps in getting the students back, which changed the way the district looked at ASAP.

Porterie is thankful for the great working relationship between the district, constables and police.

“We have worked with each constable and with the police department and think now would be a good time for our own police force,” he said.

Currently the constables are under Jefferson County supervision but when the district police force is formed they will be under a PAISD Police Department.

Porterie explained the goal of having a school district police department.

“To deter our children from making negative choices and to be part of the team,” he said.

Nearby Beaumont Independent School District has its own police department.

Some of the other agenda items include:

  • Consider, and if appropriate, approve a bid for replacement of the Memorial High School boys and girls gymnasium floors due to Hurricane Harvey damages.
  • Consider, and if appropriate, approve the district-wide testing of the natural gas piping system.
  • Consider, and if appropriate, approve the repair of bleachers at the MHS boys gymnasium by Academic Specialties Texas in the amount of $74,247.
  • Consider, and if appropriate, approve the resolution regarding the sale of land.

• Consider, and if appropriate, approve the resolution authorizing pay for missed instructional days.


See also: PAISD announces summer school program