Bill S402-2015

Provides for a shared school resource officer program

Provides for a shared school resource officer program.

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  • Jan 7, 2015: REFERRED TO EDUCATION

Memo

 BILL NUMBER:  S402

TITLE OF BILL : An act to amend the education law, in relation to school resource officers

PURPOSE :

This bill establishes a shared School Resource Officers Program that allows at least three school districts to combine state vouchers for the sole purpose of hiring a joint school resource officer.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS :

Section 1 states the legislative intent of this bill.

Section 2 states that every school district in the state shall be allocated a $30,000 voucher for the sole purpose of hiring a shared school resource officer. The voucher must be combined with the voucher of at least two other school districts and used to hire a police officer to serve as a shared school resource officer. Such officer must divide his or her time between schools based on a randomized, rotating schedule determined by the school districts.

Section 3 sets the effective date of this bill.

JUSTIFICATION :

One of the most important obligations as public officials is to provide for the safety of children in New York State. In light of tragedies such as Sandy Hook and Columbine, the safety of our children in schools is especially important. One very effective way to make children safer in schools is to provide for school resource officer (SRO) programs.

SRO programs foster collaboration between law enforcement officers, school staff, students, and parents to provide safe learning environments and safe communities for our State's children. In addition to providing the obvious benefit of deterring tragedies, SRO programs provide valuable services to resolve problems affecting our youth before manageable problems escalate into serious issues. By addressing these problems in their early stages, SRO programs keep our youth from going down bad paths and help them reach their fullest potential.

Unfortunately, SRO programs are not cheap. Typically they will require $100,000 or more to fund. This is cost prohibitive to many school districts throughout New York State. In Erie County, a shared SRO program for rural school districts provides a model for a statewide initiative. Using a $100,000 grant, five school districts have hired an Erie County Sheriff Deputy to serve as a shared SRO. Sharing an SRO allows multiple schools to receive the benefit of this valuable resource at a reduced cost.

Building on this successful model, this bill creates a shared SRO Program that allocates a $30,000 voucher to every school district in New York State to be used for the sole purpose of hiring a joint SRO. This voucher can only be utilized by combining it with at least two other vouchers to employ a police officer as a shared SRO. This proposal would allow school districts throughout New York State to have access to the valuable services of an SRO program.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY :

2013-14: S.6783-A Referred to Education

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS : To be determined.

EFFECTIVE DATE : Immediately, provided that the commissioner of education shall have the authority to promulgate any rules or regulations necessary for the implementation of this act.

Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 402 2015-2016 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 7, 2015 ___________
Introduced by Sens. GALLIVAN, SEWARD -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Education AN ACT to amend the education law, in relation to school resource offi- cers THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The legislature hereby finds that it is beneficial to school districts to have access to school resource officers to provide for the safety of children in New York state. School resource officer programs foster collaboration between law enforcement officers, school staff, students, and parents to provide safe learning environments and safe communities for our state's children. It is the intent of this legislature to create a shared school resource officers program to allow school districts throughout New York state to receive the benefit of this valuable resource at a reduced cost. S 2. The education law is amended by adding a new section 817 to read as follows: S 817. SHARED SCHOOL RESOURCE OFFICERS. EVERY SCHOOL DISTRICT IN THE STATE SHALL BE ALLOCATED A THIRTY THOUSAND DOLLAR VOUCHER, SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATIONS THEREFOR, FOR THE SOLE PURPOSE OF HIRING A SHARED SCHOOL RESOURCE OFFICER. THE VOUCHER IS VALID ONLY IF IT IS COMBINED WITH THE VOUCHER OF AT LEAST TWO OTHER SCHOOL DISTRICTS. SUCH COMBINED VOUCHERS SHALL BE UTILIZED TO HIRE A POLICE OFFICER AS DEFINED IN PARAGRAPHS (A), (B), (C) AND (D) OF SUBDIVISION THIRTY-FOUR OF SECTION 1.20 OF THE CRIM- INAL PROCEDURE LAW WHO SHALL SERVE AS A SHARED SCHOOL RESOURCE OFFICER. SUCH SHARED SCHOOL RESOURCE OFFICER SHALL DIVIDE HIS OR HER TIME BETWEEN THE SCHOOLS ON A RANDOMIZED, ROTATING BASIS BASED UPON A SCHEDULE DETER- MINED BY THE SCHOOL DISTRICTS. S 3. This act shall take effect immediately, provided, however that the commissioner of education shall have the authority to promulgate any rules or regulations necessary for the implementation of this act.

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