KY Lawmakers Hear Update on School Safety Bill Implementation

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Kentucky Lawmakers received an update on 2019’s school safety bill. 

The Senate Standing Committee on Education heard from stakeholders involved with the implementation of the sweeping school safety reform act. 

Ben Wilcox, State School Safety Marshall, says the biggest problem he’s seeing with schools complying with the law is locking their doors, but for the most part schools have embraced the changes. 

“We are finding some doors that are unlocked and I know this a cultural change for the school,” he told the committee. “We have several schools that have embraced it. We have  safety monitors who are going around and checking doors and reminding teachers.”

One of the provisions of the law requires all schools have School Resource Officers, currently there are 474 SRO’s statewide and 18 Special Law Enforcement Programs, which is a partnership between law enforcement and school boards. 18 SRO programs are fully funded as well, however, there are still 11 counties where no SRO’s are employed including Jefferson County, the largest school district in the state. 

That was of concern for some lawmakers including Sen. Reggie Thomas, D-Lexington, who wanted to know if there would be a date when districts would have to comply. 

While schools are working to comply with the SRO requirements, Senate Bill 8, would require each officer has a firearm. Bill Sponsor Sen. Max Wise, R-Campbellsville, said this is to ensure safety of the children. 

Wilcox is supportive of this measure.