Press Release: Local Lawmakers Gain Franchot’s Support for Police in Schools

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Annapolis, Md. (February 28, 2013) –Comptroller Peter Franchot hosted a press conference in support of legislation to provide sworn law enforcement professionals, known as School Resource Officers (SROs), to protect public schools throughout Maryland.

The provisions in HB 165 and SB 807 would provide financial resources through the Education Trust Fund, to enable each county superintendent to enter into an agreement with an appropriate law enforcement agency to provide a full-time school resource officer to each public elementary and secondary school. 

“There’s no good reason why every school in Maryland shouldn’t have a trained, armed resource officer. We have no obligation more fundamental than keeping our kids safe from harm,” Comptroller Franchot said. ”We just can’t afford to let politics get in the way of protecting our children.”

The bill was sponsored by Delegate John Cluster (Baltimore County), a retired Baltimore County Police Officer who said, ”As we are still feeling the shock and horror of the terrible tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, I felt it necessary to take action to improve the safety of our schools.” “Many Maryland jurisdictions already have SROs, but HB 165 and SB 807 would place an active police officer in every school,” said Cluster.

Senate Minority Leader, E.J. Pipkin (Upper Shore), who sponsored the bill in the Senate added, “As a father, I am focused on keeping our schools safe for our children. By putting an armed officer in every school, Senate Bill 807 will assure the fastest response to a gun threat and have an immediate and positive impact on the children’s safety.”

Delegate Steve Hershey (Queen Anne’s) who is a cosponsor of the House bill said, “This is common sense legislation. Although safety is the priority concern, it can be achieved with minimal impact to the taxpayers. These county School Resource Officers will be paid through the Education Trust Fund which receives funding from the state gambling revenues. There is no better use for this revenue than taking steps to protect our students and schools.”

Also cosponsoring the House bill, Delegate Jay Jacobs (Caroline, Kent) stated,

“As a grandfather with two granddaughters, one of which is still in school, I think the concern of parents and grandparents all over the state of Maryland is that if their children need help, they want them to have it right away. This bill does that.”

The event attendees heard from a retired school principal, law enforcement officials and concerned parents on how the proposed bills will help keep our schools safe.

Photo Credit: Credit Arkdog / Flickr

Letters to Editor

  1. RD Sweetman says:

    I think this is a good idea. Others may not agree, but I think it’s better than posting “Gun Free Zone” signs and expecting the Bad guys and Loons to obey what a sign says….

  2. Thomas Taylor says:

    I hope that should this become a reality that the School Resource Officer (Resource?? why that title?? Why not something like “People Protection” and not charge this individual with protecting school property??) will expand to include firearm safety training for all educational proffesionals, employees, school bus drivers and students. One of the main topics should be true weapon identification. Hearing about a youngster being removed from shool because he/she had a piece of paper that looked like a gun, or was a water gun, or a finger was pointed (whether the thumb was in a raised position or not) is rediculous. Teaching a student that pointing one’s finger is agressive, is also teaching that it is a good defensive move, and will deter someone (or animal) that is about to do harm to that student. Does any one think pointing your finger at a potential rapist, car jacker, or any lawbreaker is going to stop him/her?? Tom Taylor

  3. Fletcher R. Hall says:

    What a great example for the kids! Will the schools only have a friendly, “Mr. Policeman”/

    Now this really is big brother watching even the youth of America,

    Sad.

  4. Lainey Harrison says:

    I saw an interesting news story this morning on the Today show about a little town in the South called Simpsonville. After Sandy Hook, they came up with a solution to adding a police officer to their elementary school and it did not cost them a single dime. They simply gave the police a desk in an office at the school. It is his little “substation” if you will. He is there every day to greet the kids and hang with them. He still gets his regular duties done and he is at the school. Win Win.

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