This year has
been active for legislation regarding school security at the state, local and
federal levels. So far this year,
legislation has been considered – and in many cases signed into law – that
would fund the purchase and installation of security devices for schools in a
number of states.
the state level include a law in North Dakota that provides $3 million in funds
for purchase, installation and maintenance of equipment for school security,
while the state of Washington passed a law requiring installation of a
perimeter security system at schools statewide.
Connecticut – where the Sandy Hook shootings took place in December 2012 – a
bill created a "School Building Projects Advisory Council” to look at how
school buildings will be secured. It also calls for the state to develop school
security and safety standards by January 2014, and set aside $15 million in
state grants through 2015 that will reimburse towns for developing or improving
security infrastructure and school personnel training.
recently, Gov. Bob McDonnell of Virginia announced that $6 million will be used
to improve safety and security for students in 459 schools statewide. The funds
will pay for security equipment, including video monitoring systems, metal
detectors, electronic-access controls, visitor-identification systems and
communications systems providing direct links between schools and law
Not to be
outdone, several bills have been introduced in Congress seeking to provide
federal grants to school districts for security.
Lois Capps (D-Calif.) introduced H.R. 1470, the School Safety Enhancement Act,
which provides for reauthorization of an Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Street
law that expired in 2009. It would allocate millions of dollars in federal
grants to schools for purchase and installation of surveillance equipment,
metal detectors, locks, lighting, and other deterrent measures. Security
assessments and training are a part of these grant purposes.
John Barrow (D-Ga.) introduced H.R.2583 with similar provisions to enhance
school security, including emergency notification and response technology. Both
bills are pending in the House Judiciary Committee.
Senate recently passed S. 649, the Safe Communities, Safe Schools Act, which includes
$40 million annually in school security grants for the next five years.
However, that bill is pending in the House, and may not pass because of added
provisions relating to gun control and other issues not related to school
efforts will continue through the 113th Congress, which adjourns at
the end of 2014.
whether funds originate in the state capital, through federal grants from
Washington, D.C., or even at city, town or county levels, ESA members and Chartered
Chapters are urged to become aware of their existence, and to become more involved
in school security opportunities. Use ESA's Electronic Security Guidelines for Schools as a framework for connecting with the community.
This issue affects not only your family, but your
neighbors, colleagues, customers and the entire community. As trained,
knowledgeable security professionals, ESA members can influence school district
and individual school decisions in a number of ways.
is through PTA activities at elementary and secondary schools. ESA members and chapters
can urge PTA members – as well as school administrators, school boards and
other officials at the local level – to support responsible and professional acquisition,
installation and maintenance of security equipment, as well as implementation
of security procedures if applicable.
On a national
level, the ESA is cooperating with the Security Industry Association (SIA) in its
Safe Schools Industry Group, working together as a resource for school
officials and law enforcement on critical school security solutions. Some of
the leading security company officials are participating in this industry
Be aware of legislation
and funds that become available for your schools. Be active in deciding how
these funds are used, and use your qualifications and expertise to help your
schools protect the students, faculty and administrators under their care.