PA 13-188—SB 1099

Education Committee

Public Safety and Security Committee

AN ACT CONCERNING SCHOOL SAFETY

SUMMARY: This act (1) establishes requirements for municipalities and boards of education to hire active or retired police officers to provide armed security at public schools and (2) requires all armed school security to be active or retired police officers.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

REQUIREMENTS FOR HIRING ARMED SECURITY AT PUBLIC SCHOOLS

Beginning with the 2013-14 school year, a municipality or local or regional board of education seeking to provide school security services that use firearms must only employ or enter into an agreement with a sworn member of a local police department or a retired state or local police officer (see BACKGROUND).

State law generally bans possession of firearms on school grounds except under certain circumstances, one of which is when a person possesses the firearm under an agreement between school officials and the person or his or her employer. The act applies its requirements to these agreements, thus narrowing who can possess firearms on school grounds under these agreements to active or retired police officers.

RETIRED OFFICERS

The act defines a retired police officer as a sworn member who retired or separated in good standing from:

1. an organized local police department and was certified by the Police Officer Standards and Training Council (POST) or

2. the State Police.

The act permits a municipality or board of education to employ or enter into an agreement with a retired police officer to provide security in a public school if the retired officer is a qualified retired law enforcement officer, as defined in federal law (18 USC 926C, as amended). The federal definition means the officer, among other requirements, (1) separated from service in good standing, (2) was authorized to make arrests before separation, (3) met the active duty qualification in firearms training within the last 12 months on the job, and (4) has not been found unqualified due to mental health reasons by a qualified medical professional employed by the officer's agency.

Under the act, the retired officers must (1) receive annual POST school security training according to state law, which includes drug detection and gang identification, and (2) successfully complete annual firearms training provided by a certified firearms instructor who meets or exceeds the POST standards or the federal qualified retired law enforcement officer standards. Under the act, these retired police officers are exempt from the licensing requirements for private security officers.

BACKGROUND

Firearm

As defined in CGS 53a-3, a “firearm” means any sawed-off shotgun, machine gun, rifle, shotgun, pistol, revolver or other weapon, loaded or unloaded, from which a shot can be discharged.

OLR Tracking: JM: JKL: PF: ts/eh