At a special school board meeting on Tuesday night, the West Rusk CC ISD approved the creation of a police department, and hired its first police chief.
Paul Thompson, who currently serves as chief of the New London Police Department, will take the same job with West Rusk.
At the meeting, West Rusk superintendent Tommy Alexander told KLTV 7 that he had been discussing the possibility of a school police department with Thompson for months, and that the Sandy Hook school shooting in Newtown, CT "brought it all to a head."
"We wouldn't be here tonight if not for the opportunity to hire Paul Thompson," Alexander said. "We could have the position, but if it wasn't for him, we'd hold off and do something else down the road."
"A long-term goal would be that anyone that comes to West Rusk will feel safe," Thompson said. "They will feel secure, and know that there's protection there. Secondly, that there's someone that will listen to them."
Chief Thompson is set to start work in early March 2013. He'll be on a 12 month contract, just like teachers at the district. It's not clear yet how many officers will be on the school's new police force.