Governor Northam vetoes legislation creating “school protection officer” position

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Governor Ralph Northam vetoed a bill on Tuesday that would allow for the creation of school protection officers.

House Bill 2142 defines “school protection officers” as employees of a local law enforcement agency that would provide “limited law enforcement and security services” in public schools. The bill further provides that the Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) would develop training standards for school protection officers and that such training may be provided by the employing law enforcement agency and would be graduated based upon the duties performed.

According to the governor’s veto statement, the school protection officer position is ill-defined. Governor Northam states that “allowing a new type of officer with undefined duties and indeterminate training will not serve to make Virginia’s students and schools safer.”

He points out Virginia law already provides for school resource officers and school security officers to protect the safety of the Commonwealth’s students and schools. These two officers have well-defined duties and stringent, uniform training standards.

You can view Governor Northam’s full statement here: Governor Ralph Northam’s Veto Statement

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