Press Release – Legislation sponsored by Assembly Republicans Anthony M. Bucco, Dave Rible and Holly Schepisi that will allow public and non-public schools and county colleges to hire retired law enforcement officers on a part-time basis to provide security on school grounds was signed into law today by the governor.
“This is a common sense measure that benefits students and taxpayers,” said Bucco (R-Morris). “School officials will have a larger pool of experienced retired police officers to hire to protect students on school property. At the same time, it will save taxpayers a lot of money by allowing school districts and municipalities to hire these officers at a much lower rate and without the need for pension and health benefit contributions. This is government at its best.”
Boards of Education are currently authorized to hire law enforcement officers and public school resource officers. This measure implicitly allows the hiring of retired law enforcement officers.
“Our schools have implemented enhanced security measures due to the mass shootings that have occurred in recent years, but now school officials will be able to hire trained, experienced retired officers to provide another avenue of protection,” said Rible (R-Monmouth). “Students and their parents shouldn’t have to worry about their safety or their children’s safety while sitting in a classroom. School officials agree. They want a police presence in their schools. This new law will greatly assist them in their efforts to provide a safe, secure learning environment.”
“Today’s reality is that students are vulnerable to attack just sitting in a classroom,” said Schepisi (R-Bergen). “Giving schools the option to hire retired police officers to protect students, teachers and staff is not only logical, it’s cost effective as well. These officers are already well trained and cost to taxpayers will be minimal. It’s a perfect fit.”
The bill (S-86/A-3629) establishes an additional category of special law enforcement officers, specifically, retired officers who are less than 65 years old. They will be authorized to provide security while on school or college premises during hours when the school or college is normally in session or when occupied by students or their teachers or professors. These Officers will not replace regular law enforcement officers or school resource officers currently employed in schools.
They will have the same authority and duties as regular, full-time police officers while providing school security and will be under the authority of the local chief of police.
There are currently two categories of law enforcement officers. “Class One” special officers are permitted to perform routine traffic detail, spectator control, and similar duties, but are not authorized to carry a firearm while on duty. “Class Two” officers are permanent, regularly appointed full-time police officers. They are authorized to carry a firearm.