School resource officer Tim McIntyre says remaining visible, present, and approachable to students and staff are responsibilities of his job. Staff photo by Dakota Morrissiey
Tim McIntyre has been a school resource officer in the Marble Falls Independent School District School for more than 20 years and has seen his job evolve from writing citations for on-campus infractions to being an integral part of the security protocol.
McIntyre started his law enforcement career at the Lago Vista Police Department in 1988. The job required “a little bit of everything,” he said. Now, 34 years later, as a long-serving member of the Marble Falls Police Department and the SRO for Marble Falls High School, his work life is even more wide-ranging and erratic, which is just how he likes it.
“It’s hard to describe what I do on a daily basis,” McIntyre said. “I try not to have a routine or predictable schedule.”
He started at the Marble Falls Police Department as a reserve officer in 1996. After working full time for a few years, a school resource officer position opened at MFISD. McIntyre landed the job and has been protecting the district ever since, working at one time or another on all of its campuses.
Here’s what the veteran officer had to say about his job and the changes he has seen over the years.
School resource officer for Marble Falls High School
There’s a reason why my job is called a school resource officer. It’s not just investigating crimes, and it doesn’t necessarily just mean dealing with students, either. My job is directed toward everybody in the school district. That includes students and staff.
From the time I started to now, a whole lot of things have changed. I used to have to deal with a lot of Class C misdemeanors like minor assaults, fighting, potty mouth, being disruptive, minor theft, lots of tobacco, those sort of things. That changed about 10 years ago after the Texas Legislature said school shouldn’t be a school-to-jail pipeline and changed the laws. The last couple of years, especially since Uvalde (a school shooting that claimed 21 lives on May 24), security has become the No. 1 issue.
What happened in Uvalde made me feel a different type of anger. You can’t just direct your anger toward one person. Whatever system they had in place, it didn’t work. There were a lot of failures, period. The biggest one that sticks out to me was the failure of the officers.
That’s not going to happen in Marble Falls. I’ll go even further: That’s not going to happen in Burnet County. Up until a few years ago, we had an emergency service unit. It was disbanded, but a lot of the officers involved who obtained advanced training for it are still working with the department. We just have the mindset, mainly because a lot of officers have kids in the district, that something like what happened in Uvalde will not happen here.
We’re very lucky to be getting two more school resource officers in the district soon. That’s a huge bonus. Up until about four years ago, it was only me. I learned how to be in two places at once. In fact, I was working on how to be in three places at once.
If you want to work in the schools as a police officer, you can’t have a street cop mentality. The school district is like a small city. You’re going to have a fair amount of kids with mental health issues. Some of those kids can sometimes be verbally aggressive. It’s nothing personal; they’re just venting more than anything else. They’re cussing at you or threatening you, but you can’t let it get to you. You just have to let the school and the mental health counselors handle it.
Unless the kid is a danger to themselves or others, my philosophy is to never be physical with them. I don’t put my hands on the kids. If a kid is being defiant or loud or cussing, it’s not worth putting your hands on them. Somebody is going to get hurt, and I don’t want that to happen. If I can’t handle it, I have resources I can call on. The school is very lucky to have a social and emotional counselor here on campus. Generally, 95 to 98 percent of the time, myself and people like her can solve the situation without resorting to putting our hands on them.