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FISD adds to police force

by | Aug 24, 2022 | Education, Latest

The Farmersville Independent School District had wanted to hire school monitors to assist its police force in maintaining security within the district.

However, because of “all that happened in Uvalde,” the district has decided to hire two additional certified police officers to join the law enforcement staff it has on the job, according to Farmersville ISD Police Chief Steve Wade.

FISD had planned initially to hire individuals who would serve as eyes and ears for the FISD Police Department, but according to Wade, the district was unable to attract enough qualified applicants to consider for the monitor positions.

“We only had one applicant” for that job, Wade said, “and we needed three.”

So, the district hired two new sworn police officers, who will take their oaths of office at 10 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 25 in a ceremony at City Hall.

One of the new officers selected for the school district is Maggie Olvera, a patrol officer who has worked eight years for the Farmersville PD.

The other officer set to join the department is Mark Dillon, a retired Garland Police Department lieutenant and Special Weapons and Tactics commander. Dillon retired from GPD with more than 40 years of experience in law enforcement, said Wade.

“I am delighted with the individuals we have hired for this very important task,” he added. “They are highly qualified, and I am excited to have their experience on board with us.”

Olvera and Dillon were among five candidates who went before a five-member oral board, said Wade, composed of two FISD officers, a school administrator, an officer serving on another police department and a “leader in the community.”

“They recommended that we hire Maggie and Dillon,” he said. “It was my final decision,” he explained.

FISD pays its officers’ salaries commensurate with what FISD teachers are paid, based on their experience. On that basis, Olvera is set to earn a little less than $55,000 annually, while Dillon will be paid nearly $70,000 each year, according to information provided by the Farmersville ISD website.

Superintendent Micheal French had said that the FISD Board of Trustees had empowered him to “do whatever it takes” to provide adequate security for all four FISD campuses. Hiring two new officers will put “an officer on every campus every hour of every school day,” Wade said of his department, which now will comprise five officers plus the chief.

Dillon will become a second security officer assigned to patrol the high school. “We’ll be able to move officers around in case someone is unable to work a certain day,” Wade said.

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