Mobile Menu - OpenMobile Menu - Closed

Connect

Congressman Paul Mitchell

Representing the 10th District of Michigan

Mitchell, Rutherford, Dunn, Smucker, Bacon, Stefanik, Meadows, Reed, Gonzalez, Collins, Newhouse Reintroduce Bipartisan School Resource Officer Act

January 31, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Members of Congress Paul Mitchell (R-MI), John Rutherford (R-FL), Neal Dunn (R-FL), Lloyd Smucker (R-PA), Don Bacon (R-NE), Elise Stefanik (R-NY), Mark Meadows (R-NC), Tom Reed (R-NY), Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX), Chris Collins (R-NY), and Dan Newhouse (R-WA) released the following statements after reintroducing H.R. 916 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 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 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: “Local school superintendents I have met with all agree 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.”

 

Congresswoman Stefanik: “There are few things more important than keeping our students and faculty safe at school. Funding the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program and salaries for our school resource officers (SROs) is a significant component of that. Parents should feel confident when they drop their children off at school that there are paid and trained professionals who are dedicated to providing a safe and secure learning environment for students. I’m proud to cosponsor this bill, and I will continue to be an advocate for school safety and violence prevention programs.”

 

Congressman Meadows: “Our country is in the midst of a defining moment where we have an opportunity to come together and develop common sense solutions to safeguard our children in school. There’s no better place to start than ensuring adequate resources and trained personnel are available to protect school children across the country. School Resource Officers  play a critical role in preventing schools from becoming “soft targets,” or areas with little to stand in the way of someone with bad intentions. I’m proud to be a part of this effort and thank my colleagues for their leadership.”

 

Congressman Reed: “We continue to receive tremendous amount of input from across the district while listening to superintendents, teachers, parents, mental health and law enforcement personnel about ways to make schools safer,” Reed said. “From those conversations, it was clear we need to continue our emphasis on giving schools the ability to integrate School Resource Officers into their overall safety plan.”

 

Congressman Gonzalez: “School Resource Officers provide a source of security to students, families, and faculty in schools across the country. It is my mission in Congress to ensure the safety and well-being of communities in the 15th District of Texas – especially our schools. I am proud to cosponsor this bipartisan piece of legislation that creates additional security options and allows schools to remain safe-havens for academic opportunities and achievement.”

 

Congressman Collins: “Our children deserve the right to be able to attend school without the fear of being harmed.  This legislation is a step in the right direction towards protecting our children and providing schools with the resources they need to hire officers that will help stop violence from occurring within their walls. I am proud to join my colleagues as an original co-sponsor of this legislation that will keep our communities and children safe.”

 

Congressman Newhouse: “School safety is incredibly important to parents, students, and faculty across the country. I often hear from the small, rural school districts in Central Washington that they cannot afford to pay police officers to patrol their campuses. School Resource Officers promote important partnerships with local law enforcement agencies and provide critical support to existing security efforts. I am proud to cosponsor this bill that demonstrates the importance of these officers and provides funding that schools in my District could use to ensure they are providing our students and families the most security possible.”

 

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 FY2020-FY2023
  • 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. 

 

###

Issues: