Burnet County Sheriff’s Office heads back to class at Spicewood Elementary

DANIEL CLIFTON • PICAYUNE EDITOR

SPICEWOOD — Spicewood Elementary School students will get a few new classmates in September — and they’ll be wearing badges.

“Spicewood Elementary is pretty isolated out there,” Burnet County Sheriff W.T. Smith said. “(The Burnet County Sheriff’s Office was) asked, ‘What could we do to help them?'”

Starting in September, patrol deputies will be able to stop at the campus, both during class and after hours, to write reports and take care of other business. Marble Falls Independent School District is outfitting an empty classroom with a phone, a fax and other equipment necessary for the deputies.

“It’s a win-win for everybody involved,” Spicewood Elementary Principal Leslie Baty said. “We’ll have a law enforcement presence on campus, and (the deputies) will have a place to come and write reports so they don’t have to go all the way to Burnet or Marble Falls.”

Spicewood Elementary, 1005 Spur 191, is located in rural, southeast Burnet County. Burnet County deputies routinely patrol the area and even make rounds through the school parking lot.

But the satellite office provides deputies a place to complete paperwork and submit it to the main office in Burnet.

“It gets our deputies back on the street quicker and saves them time,” Smith said.

While there won’t be a deputy at the campus all the time, Baty said just having a deputy there whenever he or she needs to come in and write a report serves as a good deterrent to criminal activity.

The deputies will have keys to the classroom, so they can even make stops after hours.

“That’s great, because just having a patrol car parked out front will help deter somebody who thinks the school looks like an easy target,” Baty said.

Then there’s just the comfort of having a deputy on campus now and then.

“It’s definitely an added level of security,” the sheriff said. “Plus, it gives us more direct interaction with the kids. I think it’s going to be a super-positive program.”

daniel@thepicayune.com