EL PASO, Texas (KTSM)– The Canutillo Independent School District Board of Trustees discussed internal and external audits of the district’s police department during a special meeting Thursday evening.
The agenda items had police Chief Carlos Carrillo and other officers concerned for the future of the department.
“Everything is a possibility, in my opinion, I feel that it’s becoming an anti-policing culture and I feel that in El Paso that is something we need to work on and to understand what that means and how that can hurt especially when it comes to working in our schools,” Carrillo said.
Superintendent Pedro Galaviz said the district paid $10,000 for an auditor to conduct internal and external audits of the police department.
Galaviz said he requested the audits because the police department’s operating budget went from $927,765 in fiscal year 2020 to over $1 million in fiscal year 2021.
Carrillo said his operating budget went up because he had to replace aging vehicles and because he made new hires.
Harry Kirk, the auditor, said he found 14 areas for concern in categories labeled vetting, oversight, accountability and training.
However, Kirk said the findings were all correctable and nothing major.
Ahead of Thursday night’s meeting, Carrillo said he worried the board would consider eliminating the police department entirely.
“Everything is a discussion, we’re not eliminating police we are looking at findings from the audit and making cause you want to do better you want to hear the good, the bad, the ugly,” Galaviz said.
Kirk told the board some of the findings included inconsistencies in the hiring vetting process, excessive overtime, need for specialized training and said 8 out of 10 campus principals said they felt a police presence on campus.
Carrillo told the board he felt he did not have extended training from the administration on areas like budgeting.
Only one trustee, Blanca Trout, voted against approving the audits.
The findings from the audits have not been released to the public. The school board said it wants to wait for legal counsel to review the findings before releasing them.