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Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: September 10, 2019 09:35 AM
From: Representative Rob W. Kauffman
To: All House members
Subject: School Safety Legislation
In the coming weeks, I will be introducing legislation to correct a mistake regarding the arrest authority of our school police . During our late-June rush of legislation, an important bill relating to school safety was enacted into law. While this bill took major strides in keeping our students safe, one slight change in language mistakenly stripped arrest authority from fully trained career police officers employed by our school districts. I intend to introduce legislation to restore that authority.

More specifically, when Senate Bill 621 was enacted into law, it expanded who could serve as school police officers. In the past, school police officers were direct employees of school districts answering to public officials. Senate Bill 621 allowed independent contractors provided via third-party vendors to serve as police officers. Senate Bill 621 was amended in the Senate to remove arrest authority from these private third-party vendors, reasoning that such authority ought only rest with public employees. However, the amendment mistakenly removed arrest authority from all school police officers – even those who are public employees, fully trained, and who have been working as school police officers successfully for years.

My bill will restore arrest authority to our school police officers who are public employees only, while retaining the Senate’s intention that private third-party vendors should not have that same arrest authority. I hope you will join me in sponsoring this legislation.

Introduced as HB1881