Delegate Plans to Reintroduce School Police Legislation

An October 11 article reports that Delegate John Cluster plans on reintroducing legislation that would require a police officer to serve as a school resource officer in every Maryland public school.  The Delegate introduced similar legislation during the 2013 Session that was given an unfavorable report by the House Ways and Means Committee.  From the article:

The new bill, Cluster said, addresses concerns about costs by using retired police officers rather than regular police officers to serve as school resource officers who would help protect schools from security threats.

Hiring and equipping about 1,135 school resource officers would have cost about $104.7 million, according to an estimate on the 2013 bill from the state Department of Legislative Services.

The officers would be paid and equipped through the state’s Education Trust Fund, which includes gaming proceeds.  …

Del. C. William Frick (D-Dist. 16) — one of 18 Ways and Means Committee members who voted down the bill — said he didn’t think the cost associated with the bill was “the only concern or even the biggest concern.”  …

The problem, Frick said, rather lies in how the bill would have restricted local school districts by reallocating funds toward one particular strategy.

“The counties were looking for the ability to do school safety in a more comprehensive way,” he said.

The article also notes that the Maryland Association of Boards of Education (MABE) opposed the 2013 legislation.