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Texas: Legislature Moving On School Security Measures

Thursday, April 18, 2013

This week, the state Senate passed Senate Bill 1857 by state Senator Craig Estes (R-Wichita Falls), legislation directing the Department of Public Safety (DPS) to establish a process by which qualified concealed handgun instructors may obtain additional certification in school safety.  Successful completion of the advanced training course would allow the instructor to teach these security techniques to employees of school districts or open-enrollment charter schools who hold concealed handgun licenses (CHLs).

The Senate also approved Senate Bill 17 by state Senator Dan Patrick (R-Houston).  This legislation would allow for two employees of a school district or an open-enrollment charter school without security personnel, who are CHLs and authorized by their school board to carry on campus, to participate in a school safety training program developed by the DPS and the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training Center (ALERRT).

House Bill 1009 by state Representative Jason Villalba (R-Dallas) has been reported by the House Homeland Security and Public Safety Committee and sent to the House Calendars Committee.  This measure creates a new category of law enforcement called a “school marshal.”  In order to become a school marshal, applicants would have to complete an intensive training program developed by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education (TCLEOSE).  However, the program would also be open to any employee of a school district or open-enrollment charter school who has a CHL.  The governing bodies of the institutions would decide whether to appoint marshals to certain schools.

Please contact your state Representative and urge him or her to support HB 1009, SB 17 and SB 1857.  Contact information can be found by clicking here.

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