Legislation sponsored by Senator Anthony Bucco (R-Morris) to improve security at public and nonpublic schools, as well as community colleges, by creating a new class of special law enforcement officers was signed into law by Governor Chris Christie.
Sen. Anthony Bucco’s legislation creates “Class Three” law enforcement officers and allow them to provide security in New Jersey schools. (Flickr)
“Having trained, experienced officers in schools creates a safer environment for students and staff by deterring criminals from committing acts of violence,” Senator Bucco said. “I’m happy we could work together on this issue and make our schools safer for everyone.”
The bill, S-86, creates a class of special officers comprised of retired-in-good-standing, former full-time New Jersey law enforcement officers younger than 65 years old. The Class Three officers would be limited to providing part-time security at a community college, 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 would be allowed to carry a handgun 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.
“These officers already have years of experience under their belts, which should make this transition to school security much easier,” Senator Bucco said. “I’m confident that they will do a great job protecting our schools and help us prevent any tragedies in our classrooms.”
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