HISD Police chief replaced, threats of massive layoffs affecting morale of law enforcement and threatens safety of Houston schools
Contact: CLEAT Public Affairs 512-495-9111
“With active shooter incidents at schools on the minds of any parent who sends their children to public school, how can the elected leaders at the Houston Independent School District justify cutting law enforcement protection?” asks Charley Wilkison, Executive Director of the Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas, or CLEAT.
This week the Houston HISD police chief was removed and replaced with an interim head of the department that oversees the safety of all school children in Houston.
This occurred on the heels of a Feb 1 letter sent to all HISD employees from Chief Operating Officer Brian Busby warning of a significant budget shortfall and putting employees on notice of possible staffing and service cuts.
The letter warns employees that changes will be “uncomfortable”. Rumors have been circulating within the HISD police department of cuts and layoffs including the loss of up to 26 police officers, one sergeant, and one lieutenant.
Questions among officers revolve around what schools will lose police protection and what schools will retain their assigned police officers.
“The Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas is opposed to layoffs that will threaten the safety of our schools, teachers and our children,” said Wilkison.
“There is a leadership vacuum within the HISD police department that is affecting morale. Most officers are worried about their ability to provide for their families under the threat of job cuts. CLEAT stands with the officers and encourages HISD to quickly clarify that law enforcement will not be included in proposed budget cuts. The public is entitled to know that those working and attending HISD schools will be protected,” Wilkison stated.
CLEAT is the largest statewide police union in Texas and represents more than 22,000 sworn law enforcement personnel.