School Resource Officer training bill modified to address concerns

February 4, 2019

SB 1130 (Locke) originally required each school resource officer (SRO) to be trained and certified by the Virginia Center for School and Campus Safety, which is not current practice and expanded the topics on which school security officers are required to be trained. VACo expressed concerns that additional training requirements would impose an unfunded mandate on localities. At a January 24 meeting of Senate Education and Health Committee’s Public Education Subcommittee, the bill was recommended to report with a substitute. The substitute incorporated several other bills mandating training standards of SROs and of local school division personnel – SB 1299 (Barker), SB 1530 (Deeds), and SB 1551 (Surovell).

VACo advocated with the patron and members of the Subcommittee to amend language allowing for more permissive training standards to be determined by the Criminal Justice Services Board, and for additional local and online training options.

On January 31, after reporting on a 11-4 vote from the Senate Education and Health Committee, the bill was reported on the same day from Senate Finance, 16-0. Senate Finance also adopted the financial enactment clause that prohibits the bill from becoming effective unless funding is appropriated.

Thank you VACo Members for responding to the call to action on this legislation.

VACo Contact: Jeremy Bennett

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