Indiana News

School Security Bill Goes to Governor

4/26/2013

Schools will receive financial help to upgrade security under a bill on its way to Governor Pence.

The House and Senate gave overwhelming approval to a bill setting aside $10 million in matching grants to help schools to hire security officers, conduct threat assessments, or make physical improvements to security, from buzzer-entry systems at the front door to redesigned landscapes to ensure clear sightlines to see anyone approaching the building.

Representative Linda Lawson (D-Hammond) notes the official term is "school resource officer," and emphasizes the wording is deliberate. The law envisions not just security guards, but officers who interact with students and can not only learn of potential threats but steer troubled students to the help they need.

Attorney General Greg Zoeller, who supported the bill, says it will produce "safer schools and a greater appreciation for law enforcement."

The wide margins in favor of the bill, with five no votes in the Senate and six in the House, are in contrast to the controversy which flared when the House added, then deleted a provision earlier this month which would have required an armed staffer in all schools.

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