HARRISBURG – Today legislation sponsored by Senator Mike Regan (R-Cumberland and York) to strengthen last year’s comprehensive School Safety and Security Law was signed into law by Governor Tom Wolf as Act 67 of 2019.
Senate Bill 621 aimed to address two issues that arose since the passage of last year’s law, known as Act 44. First, the legislation corrects an oversight to allow Sheriffs and Deputy Sheriffs to serve as School Resource Officers and second, it provides schools the choice to have armed School Security Guards.
“This past school year, school districts across the Commonwealth found themselves out of compliance with the law when first, it was realized that Sheriffs and Deputy Sheriffs were omitted from the definition of School Resource Officer. This was followed by the Department of Education issuing their own interpretation of Act 44 claiming security guards did not have the authority to carry firearms,” stated Regan.
Regan met with Governor Wolf early on in the legislative process to garner his input on the issue of armed security in our schools, and training was his top concern.
In response, SB 621 establishes a baseline of training for all school security personnel – whether armed or not – to ensure that School Police Officers, School Resource Officers, and School Security Guards are trained for the purpose of working in a school setting and alongside students. Additionally, the bill sets training requirements, should a school choose to arm their Security Guards.
“I sincerely thank Governor Wolf and my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for recognizing the importance of this legislation,” said Senator Regan. “The bottom line is that this legislation provides schools with options to allow them to continue protecting their students and staff as they see fit.”
CONTACT: Taylor Wamsher, firstname.lastname@example.org, 717-787-8524