Bilirakis Proposes Funds for Armed School Resource Officers
A bill introduced by U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis would provide matching funds for schools to hire armed law enforcement officers.
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis, R-Tarpon Springs, has reintroduced the Promoting Resource Officers Together for Exceptionally Critical Targets with Key Investments in Districts and Schools Act, which would allocate $250,000,000 in matching funds for schools to hire armed school resource officers.
These funds would be prioritized for the nation’s largest school districts to include Pasco, Pinellas and Hillsborough counties.
“Immediately after the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, I met with our local Superintendents and law enforcement. They told me that the single most important thing I can do to improve school safety is to help them secure funding to hire more certified law enforcement officers as SROs,” Bilirakis said.
The sentiments of these local officials tasked with keeping students safe were recently echoed by the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission in its initial report related to school safety. Included in its recommendations was a provision that “there should be a minimum of at least one law enforcement officer on every middle and high school campus, and a minimum of one law enforcement officer or guardian on every elementary school campus. Bilirakis said, the PROTECT KIDS Act will help provide schools with these human resources to have effective and well-trained SROs prevent and respond to emergencies.
Additionally, he said, the National Academy of Sciences indicates that “SROs are a key element in prevention and a clear channel for student safety concerns.”
“Just last year, SROs prevented or intervened in school shootings in Maryland, Illinois, Texas, and even my home state of Florida. Unfortunately, many school districts are lacking the financial resources to implement the advised minimum standards, which is very troubling. There is nothing more precious and important than the well-being of our children, and I remain committed to securing the funding needed to ensure school safety,” Bilirakis said.
Bilirakis represents Florida’s 12th Congressional District, which includes all of Pasco and the northern parts of Hillsborough and Pinellas counties.
For information about Bilirakis, go to bilirakis.house.gov.
Gus Bilirakis | School Shootings | Marjory Stoneman Douglas | School Resource Officers | Tampabay News
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