Brittany Adams’ long and winding road to becoming a police officer took a big step this week in a place where her interest in law enforcement began – in Fort Bend ISD.
The Fort Bend ISD graduate this week was sworn in as one of the district’s newest police officers, becoming more than 25 department members drawn from the ranks of the school district itself.
“I’ve always loved law enforcement,” she told the Fort Bend Star before the swearing-in ceremony. “I always watch police shows on TV.”
School police have become a growing topic of conversation in districts across the state and nation, as families demand increased security in response to recent shootings, like Uvalde’s.
Soon, Fort Bend ISD could be in the market for many more officers, just like Adams, if voters approve giving the school district additional tax revenue in November, said district police chief David Rider. .
As part of a Voter Approval Tax Rate, or Vatre, election, the district plans to hire a police officer to patrol each of the district’s 54 elementary schools, Ridder said. For a department with about 76 sworn officers, that would mean a significant increase in hiring, and at a time when it’s already hard to find candidates, he said.
A rookie police officer out of academy earns about $52,000 a year, Ridder said.
“We’re talking about doing creative things to recruit more officers,” he said.
This need for officers means the trend of district graduates entering the department is important for the future, Rider said.
“It’s been kind of word of mouth,” Rider said of the trend. “With us having officers in the schools, we were able to educate the students on what we do.”
Graduates serving as police officers also mean they have a sense of belonging to what’s happening on campus that someone who isn’t a district graduate might not have, Rider said.
“The fact that they want to come back speaks to this sense of belonging that they have,” he said. “We want people who really care about the kids.”
Working as an officer in a school district means balancing law enforcement and understanding that you’re ultimately working with children, Rider said.
After graduating from the district, Adams actually returned shortly after turning 20 and worked for 11 years as a cafeteria manager for several elementary campuses before deciding to pursue a career in law enforcement. law.
Adams’ relationship since she was a student and then with several district officers helped her along the way, she said.
“For a year and a half, I have given all my efforts to become a police officer,” she says.
Now that she’s completed the academy and been sworn into the department, Adams will spend time training at district campuses before receiving an assignment, she said.
“I want to encourage the students of the district to be the best representation of themselves while protecting everyone and everything that is part of FBISD,” she said.