The Alabama House of Representatives on Tuesday passed a bill allowing retired law enforcement officers to serve as school resource officers without having to attend the police academy again.
House Bill 236 is sponsored by state Rep. Phillip Pettus, R-Killen. Pettus, a retired law enforcement officer himself, said that his bill would allow a retired law officer with 25 years of experience, who retired in good standing, to become a school resource officer without having to go back to the police academy.
Pettus said that schools can hire law enforcement retirees on a part-time basis, as they are already drawing their retirements.
Pettus said that under current law, an active APOST–Alabama Peace Officers Standards and Training–certified officers can already be SROs. Federal and state officers who have been through the federal academy or state academy can not, even if they spent 25 years as an FBI agent or a TVA law enforcement officer.
Pettus, who represents a district in North Alabama, said that this bill was brought to him by his sheriff, who has hired some former TVA law enforcement officers as SROs.
Pettus said that they would still have to qualify with the gun at the range and perform other training requirements of being an SRO. They just would not have to attend the academy again.
Pettus said that under current law, federal officers who have been through the federal academy can not become law officers in the state of Alabama without going through the academy. This bill would allow federal officers, like TVA police and retired FBI agents, to work as SROs. This bill would also apply to state, county and municipal retired law enforcement officers.
State Rep. Ralph Howard, D-Greensboro, introduced an amendment lowering the requirement to 20 years of experience.
HB236 passed the House 94-0.
It now moves to the Senate for their consideration.