LA MARQUE — The school district has dismantled its police department and will hire a private security company for the fall semester, Interim Co-Superintendent Thomasine Allen said.
Some of the department’s 11 employees — four officers, including Chief Timothy Fields, and seven crossing guards — will remain to work a rotating schedule for the rest of the summer. Fields will be let go in mid-July, Allen said.
The district is negotiating a contract with Guardsmark, a private security firm with offices in Houston, to take over the department’s duties this fall.
Details are still being finalized, and Allen couldn’t say how much the district will pay Guardsmark or how many security officers will be provided by the company.
Outsourcing the police department will save the district about $23,000 in fiscal 2014, according to the solvency plan sent to the Texas Education Agency last week.
The department was budgeted about $315,830 for the 2012-13 school year.
Guardsmark security officers will operate from the police department’s old offices in the middle school and high school, Allen said.
According to its website, Guardsmark has about 17,000 employees in more than 400 cities around the world. Its personnel consist of former police officers, former FBI operatives and former Secret Service agents.