The School Resource Officer Act
As a nation, we must recognize that school safety is a collaborative effort, which involves schools working as partners with law enforcement agencies. As we examine ways to prevent future school violence, investing in this community partnership should be a priority for Congress.
Federal efforts to address school safety, to date, have largely focused upon providing funding physical security improvements, training and technical assistance for staff members, and enhanced facility monitoring and management resources. School administrators and teachers have consistently shared with me that school resource officers (SROs) – sworn law enforcement officers - are instrumental in providing a safer and calmer learning environment. My oldest son served two years in this capacity in his community.
That's why I introduced the School Resource Officer Act. This legislation enables law enforcement agencies to hire additional SROs by designating federal funds to pay 75% of SRO salaries.
Specifically, this bill:
- 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
This legislation allows Congress to continue supporting the COPS program and ensures hiring funds are used to pay officers who provide a safe learning environment for students and faculty.
- Rep. John Rutherford (R-FL-04)*
- Rep. Salud Carbajal (D-CA-24)*
- Rep. Neal Dunn (R-FL-02)*
- Rep. Al Lawson (D-FL-05)*
- Rep. Lloyd Smucker (R-PA-16)*
- Rep. Don Bacon (R-NE-02)*
- Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC-11)
- Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY-23)
* = Original Cosponsor