Bosque County (FOX 44) — Bosque County Sheriff Trace Hendricks feels the time has come to take a new step to end school shootings like the one in Uvalde.

Hendricks sent out a letter Wednesday to the school districts in Bosque County to initiate and implement the School Marshall Program as soon as possible. His hope is that training and program guidelines can be in place for the beginning of the 2022 school year.

So what is the School Marshal Program? The Texas Commission on Law Enforcement says its sole purpose is to prevent the act of murder or serious bodily injury on school premises. It allows school districts to appoint certain employees as School Marshals.

Under the program, School Marshals must complete an 80-hour training course conducted by a law enforcement academy. The topics covered include physical security, improving the security of the campus, use of force, active shooter response, and weapon proficiency. 

Other qualifications include:

— Candidate(s) must be an employee(s) of the school or college.

— Candidate(s) must hold a valid License to Carry, issued through the Texas Department of Public Safety.  (Copy submitted to TCOLE).

— Candidate(s) must pass a psychological exam (TCOLE will provide this form).

— Candidate(s) attends/completes TCOLE approved 80-hour School Marshal course.

FOX 44 News called all of the school districts in Bosque County to get their thoughts on Sheriff Hendricks call to action. The only superintendent available to talk was Juan Ramirez of Morgan ISD.

Ramirez says the district plans to bring up the idea with the school board. He told FOX 44 News that getting funding for School Resource Officers might be a better plan than training school employees to act as security.