Kentucky School Resource Officers Would Be Required To Carry Firearm Under Proposed Legislation

The updates to a 2019 school safety bill would also require officers to be at every school campus where there are one or more buildings rather than every school.

Legislation introduced in the Kentucky state senate would require all school resource officers across the state to carry a gun.

Sen. Max Wise, a Republican, introduced the bill on Monday, focusing on his concern that the state’s largest school district in Jefferson County does not arm school resource officers, according to The Lexington Herald-Leader.

He noted that a majority of districts already employ armed officers but that the legislation would require the remaining districts to comply with the trend.

Essentially, Senate Bill 8 would change the state’s definition of a SRO to be an officer who works with students at school sites and is armed with a firearm. In addition, the bill would require one or more resource officers in every school campus where there are one or more buildings instead of in every school.

The governor signed a school safety bill into law last year and since then has not been able to find the funding within Kentucky’s tight budget to fund it. Wise’s new additions to the bill would also shift responsibility for active shooter training at schools from the state’s education department to the criminal justice department, according to the Herald-Leader.

Education groups in Kentucky have estimated that districts will need $18 million to make necessary facility upgrades and at least $121 million per year to hire more mental health counselors and SROs.

Other states have also made arming school resource officers a key aspect of their legislative efforts to make schools safer. In Florida, charter schools have especially faced criticism for failing to meet legislative deadlines requiring administrators to hire armed SROs for their campuses.

About the Author

Haley Samsel is an Associate Content Editor for the Infrastructure Solutions Group at 1105 Media.

Featured

  • Convergint Gives Back Globally, Celebrates 23rd Annual Social Responsibility Day

    Today, Convergint celebrates its 23rd Annual Convergint Social Responsibility Day, as nearly 10,000 colleagues across 220 global locations have the opportunity to spend the workday giving back to their local communities. This year’s efforts have resulted in a total payroll donation of more than $3 million and more than $500,000 in labor and equipment donations from Convergint colleagues, partners, and families. Additionally, 400 colleagues and partners will help complete the company’s largest STEP Up project to-date for the Douglas County School District in Castle Rock, Colorado. Read Now

  • 2024 Secure Campus Award Winners Announced

    Campus Security Today is pleased to announce the 2024 Secure Campus Award winners. Twenty-six companies are being recognized this year for products that help keep education and business campuses safe. Read Now

  • Making Safety and Security Intrinsic to School Design

    Public anxieties about school safety are escalating across the country. According to a 2023 Gallup report, 44% of parents fear for their child’s physical safety at school, a 10 percentage-point increase since 2019. Unfortunately, these fears are likely to increase if the incidence of school tragedies continues to mount. As a result, school leaders are now charged with two non-negotiable responsibilities. The first, as always, is to ensure kids have what they need to learn, grow, and thrive. Sadly, their second responsibility is to keep the children in their care safe from threats and physical danger. Read Now

  • Unlocking Peace of Mind

    In a perfect world, every school would have an unlimited budget to help secure their schools. In reality, schools must prioritize what budget they have while navigating the complexities surrounding school security and lockdown Read Now

Webinars