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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: May 24, 2018 12:55 PM
From: Representative Duane D. Milne
To: All House members
Subject: Calling Homefront Heroes: School Safety and Military Veterans
I am offering legislation to meet urgent school safety needs by authorizing military veterans to qualify as school police officers in order to assist all concerned to best protect the children and youth of this Commonwealth during the school day.

As we all can appreciate, our constituents, quite rightly, are demanding significant action to pre-empt the prospects of future school-centered shootings. From the dual perspective of both legislator and military officer, my proposal seeks to merge two pressing concerns: school safety and the desire for more employment opportunities among our veterans. These outstanding Americans are eager, able and willing to answer the call to service once again. They express strong sentiments to serve as a segment of the solution to secure schools against ongoing threats of gun violence.

To that end, my bill will authorize and help support the ability of school districts to call upon military veterans to contribute to this cause. The legislation amends the definition of School Police Officer (SPO) to include honorably discharged and duly-qualified veterans to serve as SPOs.

The Office for Safe Schools, within PA Department of Education, currently awards Targeted Grants for a School Police Officer (SPO). The purpose of this already-functioning program is to assist school entities and non-public schools in funding programs to address school violence. This goal is met by establishing or enhancing school security, including costs associated with the training and compensation of SPOs. This grant program thereby supports the placement of SPOs in schools across the state.

As we all understand, maintaining safe learning environments is absolutely essential for many reasons. Youth (should) enjoy a fundamental right to attend school without undue fear of violence.

Please join me in adding a mission-essential layer of protection designed to sustain safe learning environments and to show a strong and clear response to the public safety crisis we must confront.

Thank you,
D Milne, 167th District
Captain, US Army Reserve