The Alabama House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee approved a bill Wednesday to allow retired law enforcement officers to be hired as school security guards and school resources officers.
House Bill 209 is sponsored by state Rep. Phillip Pettus, R-Killen. Pettus is a retired state trooper.
Pettus said the bill would allow a sheriff or school board to hire a retired office with 25 years of service, who retired in good standing; even if he is not currently APOSTC certified without having to go to the academy.
APOSTC is the Alabama Peace Officer Standards Commission standards that law enforcement officers have to maintain. Officers have to renew their APOSTC certification. Law enforcement officers do not maintain APOSTC certification post retirement.
They would still have to go through the active shooter and the SRO (school resource officer) training, but they would not have to be APOSTC certified.
The Homeland Security and Public Safety Committee is chaired by state Representative Allen Treadaway, R-Morris.
Chairman Treadaway asked Pettus if he would not be opposed to amending this to 20 years of service.
State Rep. Thomas Jackson, D-Thomasville, suggested that there should be a cutoff age for this.
“If you are going to work in Alabama you should get certified in Alabama,” Jackson said.
“An FBI agent was never APOSTC certified,” Pettus said. “They receive their federal certification.”
An officer from Tennessee would be certified in Tennessee and would not be APOSTC certified.
State Rep. Rex Reynolds, R-Huntsville, said there is nothing in this bill that would exempt them from the standards for SROs or other required training.
Pettus said this would just allow them to be hired without having to go back to the police academy.
He also said his sheriff asked him to bring this bill because he would like to hire some retired TVA officers as SROs.
The committee approved this bill last session, but the bill got tied up at the end of the session and did not pass out of the legislature.
The committee issued a favorable report for HB209. It now can be considered by the full Alabama House of Representatives.