Bill Mistakenly Strips School Police of Arrest Powers (October 2, 2019)

On Tuesday, July 2, 2019, Governor Wolf signed legislation that created new training requirements for armed school security officers and other armed personnel who work in PA schools. It also purportedly disallowed teachers from carrying firearms. However, the bill that was championed by Sen. Mike Regan R-York and passed the Senate by a 30-20 vote, mistakenly stripped school police officers, which are licensed law enforcement professionals who are employed by school districts across the Commonwealth, of their power to arrest anyone.

Legislators who were instrumental in the legislation claim that they didn’t intend to strip school police officers of their arrest power and that the goal of the legislation in question was to increase training requirements for school security personnel and to make sure that school police officers hired by private, third-party contractors could not perform arrests.

The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) and the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) recognized the change in a joint letter sent to school districts in August 2019. A corrected bill was sent to the Senate Education Committee on September 26, 2019.