New Jersey's 25th Legislative District

Senator Anthony Bucco

Senator Anthony Bucco

Panel Passes Bucco Bill to Efficiently Increase School & Community Safety

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The Senate Law and Public Safety Committee unanimously passed legislation sponsored by Senator Anthony Bucco (R-Morris) to allow “Class Three” law enforcement officers to provide security in public and nonpublic schools.

Sen. Anthony Bucco’s legislation would create “Class Three” law enforcement officers and allow them to provide security in New Jersey schools. (©iStock)

Senator Bucco’s bipartisan 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 is a win-win-win to improve public safety in communities across the state,” Bucco said. “It creates an avenue for boards of education across New Jersey to better and more efficiently protect children, teachers, staff members and facilities in this era when violent acts at schools are far too prevalent. It allows local police departments to assign more of their current full-time officers to protect and serve in areas surrounding schools and in all corners of their jurisdiction. It enriches communities by allowing many of New Jersey’s outstanding law enforcement officers to stay and give more to the public after they retire, in a cost-effective manner for taxpayers.”

Under the Senator’s bill, 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.

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