New Jersey's 25th Legislative District

Senator Anthony Bucco

Senator Anthony Bucco

Bucco Bill to Increase School & Community Safety Passes Senate

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Legislation sponsored by Senator Anthony Bucco (R-Morris) to create a new class of law enforcement officers to provide security in public and nonpublic schools was approved by the New Jersey Senate.

Senator Anthony Bucco’s legislation creates a new classs of law enforcement officers to provide security in schools. (©iStock)

The measure, S-2983, creates “Class Three” special law enforcement officers comprised of retired-in-good-standing, former full-time New Jersey law enforcement officers younger than 65 years old, who would be authorized to provide security in this state’s public and nonpublic schools.

“This legislation provides a cost-effective means of meeting the challenges of school security in the age of Sandy Hook without breaking the bank for taxpayers,” said Bucco. “It allows us to leverage the experience and training of retired police officers to keep our kids safe, and allows full-time police officers to remain on the streets serving entire communities.”

Under Bucco’s legislation, Class Three officers would be allowed to carry a firearm if they comply with the statutory requirements generally authorizing retired law enforcement officers to carry handguns, including qualifying in the use of a handgun twice a year. Their duties would be limited to providing security at a public or nonpublic school while they are on the school premises during hours when the school is normally in session or when it is occupied by students or their teachers. Additionally, these officers may respond to an offense or emergency off of school grounds that occurs in the officer’s presence while the officer is in route to a school facility.

Class Three officers’ work hours would not be limited, but they would not be eligible for health care benefits or enrollment in any State administered retirement system under the bill.

“As recent experiences have shown, minutes and even seconds count when a threat emerges in a school,” added Bucco. “Having an experienced officer present and ready to respond at a moment’s notice can help prevent that threat from becoming a tragedy.”

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