MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - Armed resource officers in your child's school might become a reality now that Senate Bill 383 is heading to Alabama Governor Robert Bentley's desk.
The Mobile County Public School System, however, does not plan to hire more resource officers than they already have on payroll.
"It was really non-controversial. I don't know if there was a single one or two people in the house voted against it. I don't think anyone in the senate voted against the bill," said Senator Rusty Glover.
The bill Senator Glover referred to is SB 383. It would allow resource officers to be hired by school systems within the state and be armed on campus.
"The last hurdle has to be passed by the governor. The governor has to sign it into law, and it will go into effect," said Glover.
In 2005, the Alabama legislature revoked the use of firearms on school resource officers. Now in the wake of the shootings in Newtown, Conn., Senator Glover said this bill is needed. He said a local version of this bill has gone back and forth between the house and the Senate for quite some time now. That was until one senator proposed it for the entire state.
"Dick Brewbaker introduced the bill for state-wide. It would be state-wide if the resource officers meet the criteria, and it passed," said Glover.
If hired, these officers would go through extensive training.
"The bill does mandate that the certain training, certified, shooting training. They have to go through a lot of training before they will be able to have their arms," said Glover.
Senator Glover said this is a permissive bill, meaning it is up to individual public school systems to vote on the hiring of their own resource officers with their own money.
Mobile County Public School Superintendent Dr. Martha Peek said the school system already has 12 officers in place and doesn't plan on hiring any more at this time.
"I don't anticipate our local board of school commissioners would contract or hire any outside parties to provide securities in the school system. If it was deemed necessary or needed to have additional officers, I'm sure we would budget funds in that way," said Peek.
Peek said the officers are assets to the schools.
"They are competent. They are all former police officers, law enforcement officers, and are well trained, but they are not armed at this time," said Peek.
Peek said safety is a number one priority of the school system. The school board discussed adding security cameras to all elementary schools in the system.
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