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School safety bill introduced into General Assembly

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Calling it a “good first step” for school safety, Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller outlined a proposed bill that would create a uniform standard for the school resource officers.

Senate Bill 270, introduced Jan. 3 by State Sen. Pete Miller, R-Avon, defines the qualifications for being a school resource officer as well as the duties of that position. In addition, the legislation would provide matching grants that school corporations could use to support their own SROs.

Miller is a member of the Senate Education and Career Development Committee.

Both Zoeller and Miller emphasized this bill is an initial step and not the single answer to improving school safety.

“I think the state government, the legislators, the governor-elect (Mike) Pence, (education) superintendent-elect (Glenda) Ritz will all have several opportunities to consider proposals on school safety,” Zoeller said, “but as a first step, Sen. Miller and I would like to propose to expand upon a program that’s currently in place in the state of Indiana and has shown proven benefit.”

Although Zoeller noted this bill “reflects a little bit” of the shooting at the Newtown, Conn., elementary school in December, he emphasized his office was working on this legislation before that tragic event. It builds upon the current system in place by providing a $10 million boost in additional funding.

“I think it’s particularly important these positions be expanded upon in light of the tragedy in Connecticut,” the attorney general said of SROs. “I think school safety is on the minds of a lot of parents and the public at large.”

The legislation defines that the SRO must be either a school employee or law enforcement officer who has completed a training program and received certification. The duties of these officers include promoting school safety, addressing bullying and mentoring students.

Zoeller backed away from questions that the bill opens the door for teachers and coaches to become SROs. He noted to be a school resource officer, individuals will have to go through law enforcement training and that the position is most closely related to law enforcement.

A key hurdle, Zoeller and Miller acknowledge, is money. In a press release, the funding was described as “conceptual at this point.” The bill calls for an appropriation of $10 million into the Indiana Safe School Fund from which state matching grants will be drawn. These grants of up to $50,000 would be available to school corporations for two years.

Miller called the grants “seed money.” Permanent funding would have to come from the local sources or other legislative means.

 

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  1. Hail to our Constitutional Law Expert in the Executive Office! “What you’re not paying attention to is the fact that I just took an action to change the law,” Obama said.

  2. What is this, the Ind Supreme Court thinking that there is a separation of powers and limited enumerated powers as delegated by a dusty old document? Such eighteen century thinking, so rare and unwanted by the elites in this modern age. Dictate to us, dictate over us, the massess are chanting! George Soros agrees. Time to change with times Ind Supreme Court, says all President Snows. Rule by executive decree is the new black.

  3. I made the same argument before a commission of the Indiana Supreme Court and then to the fedeal district and federal appellate courts. Fell flat. So very glad to read that some judges still beleive that evidentiary foundations matter.

  4. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  5. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

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