OLR Bill Analysis
SB 1099 (File 494, as amended by Senate “A” and “B”)*
AN ACT CONCERNING SCHOOL SAFETY.
This bill (1) establishes requirements for municipalities or boards of education to hire active or retired police officers to provide armed security at public schools and (2) permits only active or retired police officers to be hired to provide this armed school security.
*Senate Amendment “A” deletes the original bill, which required the State Department of Education to conduct a school safety study, and replaces it with a provision requiring armed school security officers to complete the Police Officer Standards and Training Council (POST) training.
*Senate Amendment “B” strikes Senate “A” and instead establishes requirements for hiring active or retired police officers to provide armed security at public schools.
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 can employ or enter into an agreement for public school security services with a firearm, as defined in state law, only 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 bill applies its requirements to these agreements, thus narrowing who can possess firearms on school grounds under these agreements to active or retired police officers.
The bill defines retired police officers as a sworn member who retired or separated in good standing from:
1. an organized local police department and was certified by POST and from the department or
2. the State Police.
The bill 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 from time to time). The federal definition means the officer, among other requirements, (1) separated from service in good standing, (2) before separation was authorized to make arrests, and (3) within the most recent 12-month period met the active duty qualification in firearms training.
Under the bill, these retired officers must (1) receive annual POST 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 bill, these retired police officers are exempt from the licensing requirements for private security officers.
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.