Bill allowing veterans and retirees to become SROs passes AZ Senate

By Bridget Dowd
Published: Tuesday, March 12, 2024 - 12:01pm
Updated: Wednesday, March 13, 2024 - 7:34am

empty school resource officer parking space
Mariana Dale/KJZZ
An empty parking spot for a school resource officer at a Phoenix school in 2019.

A bill that would allow retired police officers and veterans to act as school resource officers has passed the state Senate. It’s intended to help with an officer shortage.

Republican Anthony Kern is the bill's sponsor.

“There are a lot of rural schools out in our state and they do not have the means to actually have a police officer come in and stay there during school," Kern said.

Last year, the Arizona Department of Education granted funding to every school that asked for money to get police officers on campus. But many of them couldn’t find people to fill those positions.

Under the new bill, retirees could take a course through AZPOST, which stands for Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training, to become SROs.

Democratic Sen. Christine Marsh voted no, saying that training is not enough.

“SROS through the state or at least through my district are not just AZPOST certified, but they go through the national school resource officer association. They’re certified through that, Marsh said.

She added there could be liability issues as well because regular SROs are covered under their respective police departments.

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