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Congressman Paul Mitchell

Representing the 10th District of Michigan

Mitchell, Rutherford, Carbajal, Dunn, Lawson, Smucker, Bacon Introduce School Resource Officer Act

December 4, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON – U.S. Congressmen Paul Mitchell (MI-10), John Rutherford (FL-04), Salud Carbajal (CA-24), Neal Dunn (FL-02), Al Lawson (FL-05), Lloyd Smucker (PA-16), and Don Bacon (NE-02) released the following statements after introducing H.R. 7209, the School Resource Officer Act, which assists law enforcement agencies in hiring additional school resource officers (SROs) by directing funds for cost-share grants to pay the salaries and benefits of SROs.

 

Congressman Mitchell: “Throughout meetings I have held on school safety with school administrators and teachers, one thing I consistently heard was that school resource officers (SROs) – sworn law enforcement officers – are an important component in maintaining a calm and safe learning environment. Having a SRO in a school not only provides a safer atmosphere, but these officers often become an integral part of the school community, serving as a positive influence and a reminder of what we expect of our children. I would know: my oldest son, now a police detective, previously served as a school resource officer for two years in his community. My bipartisan bill, the School Resource Officer Act, will enable more communities to partner with their local police forces to hire additional SROs through the Department of Justice’s Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Program.”

 

Congressman Rutherford: “As a former sheriff, I know firsthand the import role School Resource Officers (SROs) play in keeping schools safe. My officers regularly reported the positive impact their presence had on both the students and schools in which they served. SROs build relationships with students, parents, and the administration to help identify those who need additional support and how best to assist them. School safety requires a multilayered approach, and this bill will ensure that school districts have the resources they need to hire officers and keep our schools as safe as possible.”

 

Congressman Carbajal: “When we send our children out the door each morning, a parent wants to know that they are safe in their classroom. SROs provide a valuable partnership to help protect our school communities. I’m glad to work with Congressman Mitchell and enable more schools the opportunity to employ an SRO.”

 

Congressman Dunn: “Every day in schools across our country, school resource officers carry out the critical job of serving and protecting our children. Unfortunately, many school systems do not have the resources to employ a permanent resource officer. The School Resource Officer Act is an important component in changing this. By streamlining resources and working with local law enforcement, we can ensure that all of our schools have proper security and remain safe havens for our students.”

 

Congressman Lawson: “Ensuring the safety of our children is of paramount importance, particularly while they are at school learning. This bipartisan legislation will put in place additional  safeguards to improve school safety to protect our students, faculty and staff and allow our students to focus on their education while in the classroom.”

 

Congressman Smucker: “The safety of our children is paramount, especially in our schools. This legislation will empower our law enforcement agencies to hire additional school resource officers and partner with local police to help meet the safety needs of the community. Schools should be places where students can learn and dream big. I remain committed to the ongoing discussion of school safety.”

 

Congressman Bacon: “Last year I met with local school superintendents who all agreed that one important element of keeping our students safe is the addition of school resource officers. These resource officers are trained individuals dedicated to doing just that.  As part of my commitment to keeping our children safe in schools, I am grateful to be an original co-sponsor of this bill which will provide our communities with tools to better solidify these crucial sponsorships.”

 

 

Specifically, the School Resource Officer Act:

  • Expresses the sense of Congress that SROs are instrumental in establishing community partnerships and providing multidimensional school safety
  • Reauthorizes the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program at the Department of Justice at $300 million each fiscal year for FY2019-FY2022
  • Designates 30% of COPS hiring funds for grants to pay the salaries and benefits of SROs
  • Grants award 75% of salary and benefits for an SRO with a 25% local match requirement
  • Maximum federal share cap is increased to $125,000 per officer position

 

To read the School Resource Officer Act, please click here.

 

For further materials, click here.

 

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