Safety Law News for May 1, 2018
In Florida, officials in Polk County plan to add 90 armed “School Safety Guardians” to work in the Polk County Schools. The safety guardian is not a law enforcement job and pays $30,000 a year plus benefits. Officials selected this option because they could not afford to hire more sworn School Resource Officers. The Polk County Sheriff's Office will handle the tactical training for the guardians.
In Illinois, the Illinois House passed legislation that would create a grant program for schools that employ social workers and psychologists. HB 4208 would establish the Safe Schools Healthy Learning Environment grant to “promote school safety and healthy learning environments by reducing the reliance on law enforcement to address school disciplinary matters and implementing alternative strategies.” The bill now goes to the Illinois Senate.
In Tennessee, the Tennessee House and Senate have passed House Bill 2129 and Senate Bill 2059. The legislation would allow schools in the state to hire off-duty police officers to work school security. Amendment 2 to the legislation would enact the "School Safety Act of 2018", which will authorize, but not require, LEAs to adopt policies that allow off-duty law enforcement officers to serve as armed school security officers. The bill now goes to Governor Bill Haslam to be signed into law.
In Florida, Venice High School in Sarasota County is planning to create an on-campus police substation. The substation will be open 24-7 for area officers to have access to a computer, conduct on-line training, write reports, interact with school staff, school resource officers, and students.