Rep. Mike Garcia, R-Santa Clarita, has introduced the Strengthening School Security for Students Act. This legislation would provide funding for schools to hire and train at least two school resource officers per 500 students to improve school security and protect students from potential threats.
“Our children should feel safe and secure when they get to school every day. Recent tragic events have proven the critical need for increased law enforcement and security in our schools. My bill, the Strengthening School Security for Students Act, would train and hire more SROs across school campuses nationwide through the repurposing of unused COVID relief funds,” said Garcia.
Last year, the Los Angeles Unified Board of Education voted to cut a third of its school police force and keep officers off of school campuses. While other California school districts have doubled down on school safety in recent weeks, LAUSD has refused to bring law enforcement back on campus for students’ protection.
Recent data shows that only 45% of schools have an SRO on campus at least once a week. However, properly trained SROs have proven to be a meaningful deterrent to violence at schools, and in the event of shootings can stop criminals and save lives.
“The uptick in school shootings has made it clear that we need to establish effective deterrents. My legislation will help ensure schools are no longer soft targets for evil actors,” said Garcia. “The increase in SRO presence and improvement of SRO training would effectively mitigate threats to our students’ safety.”
Garcia’s legislation would authorize the federal distribution of funds to public schools for the purpose of hiring and training full-time SROs. The bill conditions receipt of federal funds on hiring and maintaining at least two full-time SROs per 500 students. The cost of this legislation would be offset by rescinding leftover American Rescue Plan funds that total over $140 billion.