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Birdville trustees hire private security for middle schools and tech center

07/26/2012 10:48 PM

07/27/2012 12:07 AM

HALTOM CITY -- Birdville school trustees voted unanimously Thursday night to hire a private firm to provide security at seven middle schools and the district's technology center.

The 7-0 vote to contract with Smith Protection Services came after middle school principals asked administrators to re-evaluate how security was being provided by police officers under contracts with cities in the district.

In Richland Hills and Watauga, one officer is assigned to each middle school campus. In Haltom City, one officer covers Haltom and North Oaks middle schools. And in North Richland Hills, one officer covers the Smithfield, North Richland and North Ridge campuses. The Center of Technology and Advanced Learning has no security officer.

The police officers also have city responsibilities away from the campuses, and those duties got priority.

Under the contract with Smith Protection, each campus will get one full-time private security officer. The company also agreed to provide security for after-hours activities such as athletic events and dances.

Police will continue to provide security at the district's three high schools.

District spokesman Mark Thomas said no particular incidents led to the change.

Also Thursday, trustees voted unanimously to extend Superintendent Darrell Brown's contract through 2015 after completing his first-year evaluation.

Several trustees praised Brown, saying that he has worked hard to improve the district.

"I am thankful that you are commanding the ship," Trustee Cary Hancock said.

Brown's contract calls for him to receive $220,000 annually with $800 a month for local travel expenses and $200 a month for communications allowance.

Elizabeth Campbell,

817-390-7696

Twitter: @fwstliz

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