MIDLAND, Texas (KMID/KPEJ) -Controversy continues to surround Midland ISD’s Police Chief position. With three people holding the title in 2023 so far.
We sat down with the new chief on how he looks to move the district forward.
Midland ISD, like many other school districts, goes through staffing changes, but the same constant remains…the district says it’s looking for a stable and strong leader to advance the district’s police force.
They recently hired Scott McKown, who stepped into the role initially as interim until he was promoted to chief at the beginning of October. Before that, Carlos Ortiz served as chief for three months before he resigned last month.
The district released this statement following his resignation:
“While the district adheres to the student code of conduct, and the police department follows the penal code, both entities work in tandem to create the safest environment for students and employees. We are committed to evaluating the processes that are in place and understand there are opportunities for improving security measures throughout the district.”
Ortiz was hired after the former chief resigned citing a “culmination of events”.
That was Arthur Barclay- who served with the district for 4 years.
The district released this statement following his immediate resignation when it happened:
“Midland ISD accepted the resignation of Chief Arthur Barclay, effective immediately. While we appreciate his service to the district for the last four-plus years, it is in the best interest of the district to reevaluate the leadership of the Midland ISD Police Department. A culmination of events has led to this decision, and we are acting swiftly to find his replacement. As always, the safety and security of our campuses is our highest priority. We wish him well in his future endeavors.”
Now the district is looking forward with Scott McKown. The district says he brings with him 30 years of law enforcement experience including 23 years within a school district police department.
“I’ve lived in West Texas since 1982 and I got into law enforcement in 1994 and most of my career has been in the Odessa area,” said Chief McKown.
Most recently serving as lieutenant and interim chief, during his tenure with MISD, McKown has developed a good rapport with MISD officers, campuses, and district leaders, along with outside law enforcement agencies.
“I worked in patrol for several years and started in school-based law enforcement in 2001 and immediately fell in love with working in the schools,” said Chief McKown.
He’s excited to get the ball rolling on some improvements within the district, including more video cameras.
“We are constantly doing things, and we can improve on anything we feel like we can make better, and its a constant change,” said Chief McKown. “All the students wear ID badges, so if there’s someone that’s not wearing one, we know we need to confront them and see what they’re doing. We’re increasing the proximity doors, where you have a badge and you hit it to open it. Were implementing more of those. All exterior doors are locked, all classroom doors are locked.”
He wants parents in West Texas to trust that their children are in good hands.
“A lot of responsibility, I’m very excited. The officers in our dept are great, the people that work at MISD have been very supportive, encouraging, and willing to help in any way,” said Chief McKown.
“It makes me feel proud, I’m excited I think our dept is moving forward and we are continually trying to get better,” said Chief McKown.
McKown has also served as a gang resistance education and training instructor, in addition to working in investigations, emergency management, and internal affairs.