CHAPTER 276

 

An Act concerning training for safe schools resource officers and supplementing Title 18A of the New Jersey Statutes and Title 52 of the Revised Statutes


      Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:


      1.   The Legislature finds and declares that: many New Jersey public schools employ a safe schools resource officer or, in conjunction with local law enforcement agencies, assign a law enforcement officer to serve as a safe schools resource officer, or assign a school employee to serve as a school liaison to law enforcement; most safe schools resource officers perform many roles, including law enforcement officer, law-related counselor and law-related education teacher; every safe schools resource officer works with and among pupils, teachers and administrators, and many also work with parents; by virtue of their daily interaction with pupils, safe schools resource officers invariably make a strong, early impression of the institution of law enforcement; the job of safe schools resource officer involves great responsibility and highly specialized skills; and the State should provide comprehensive and consistent training for those individuals entrusted with these responsibilities.


C.52:17B-71.8 Training course for safe schools resource officers, liaisons to law enforcement.

      2. a. The Police Training Commission in the Division of Criminal Justice in the Department of Law and Public Safety, in consultation with the Attorney General, shall develop a training course for safe schools resource officers and public school employees assigned by a board of education to serve as a school liaison to law enforcement. The Attorney General, in conjunction with the Police Training Commission, shall ensure that the training course is developed within 180 days of the effective date of this act. The course shall at a minimum provide comprehensive and consistent training in current school resource officer practices and concepts. The course shall be made available to:

      (1) any law enforcement officer or public school employee referred by the board of education of the public school to which assignment as a safe schools resource officer or school liaison to law enforcement is sought; and

      (2) any safe schools resource officer or school liaison to law enforcement assigned to a public school prior to the effective date of P.L.2005, c.276 (C.52:17B-71.8 et al.).

      b.   The training course developed by the commission pursuant to subsection a. of this section shall be offered at each school approved by the commission to provide police training courses pursuant to the provisions of P.L.1961, c.56 (C.52:17B-66 et seq.). The commission shall ensure that an individual assigned to instruct the course is proficient and experienced in current school resource officer practices and concepts.

      c.   The commission shall award a certificate to each individual who successfully completes the course.

      d.   The Police Training Commission, in consultation with the Commissioner of Education, shall adopt rules and regulations pursuant to the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), to implement the provisions of this section.


C.18A:17-43.1 Training course required for service as safe schools resource officers, liaison to law enforcement.

      3. a. Following the development of the training course pursuant to subsection a. of section 2 of P.L.2005, c.276 (C.52:17B-71.8) or 180 days following the effective date of this act, whichever occurs first, a board of education shall not assign a safe schools resource officer to a public school unless that individual first completes the safe schools resource officer training course.

      b.   Following the development of the training course pursuant to subsection a. of section 2 of P.L.2005, c.276 (C.52:17B-71.8) or 180 days following the effective date of this act, whichever occurs first, a board of education shall not assign an employee to serve as a school liaison to law enforcement unless that individual first completes the safe schools resource officer training course.

      c.   A person who is assigned to a public school as a safe schools resource officer prior to the effective date of P.L.2005, c.276 (C.52:17B-71.8 et al.) or assigned to serve as a school liaison to law enforcement prior to that date shall not be required to complete the safe schools resource officer training course developed by the Police Training Commission pursuant to subsection a. of section 2 of P.L.2005, c.276 (C.52:17B-71.8), but may in accordance with that section.

 

      4.   This act shall take effect immediately.


      Approved January 6, 2006.