Senate Passes Plan to Strengthen School Safety

From:  News Release   3/7/18   GCN

JACKSON – Mississippi schools could offer firearm training to staff and strengthen campus security under a bill passed by the Senate today, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves said.

The plan, which is part of House Bill 1083, was proposed by Sen. Briggs Hopson, R-Vicksburg. The bill would apply to public and private schools, as well as universities and community and junior colleges. The bill heads to the House for consideration.

“This bill provides our school leaders with another way to beef up security at their campuses in a responsible manner,” Lt. Gov. Reeves said. “Coupled with the MCOPS program we passed several years ago, this is another tool to keep our children safe in the classroom.”

The bill allows school leaders the option to seek proper emergency response training through an approved course by the Department of Public Safety. Staff members could provide immediate protection before law enforcement arrives on campus.

The effort is an expansion of the Mississippi Community Oriented Policing Services program, which passed in 2013. That program matched local funds to place more trained officers in public schools around the state.