The Alabama House of Representatives is scheduled to vote Tuesday on a Senate bill that would allow local law enforcement to contract with non-public schools to supply personnel as School Resource Officers (SROs).

State Sen. Chris Elliott (R-Josephine) pre-filed Senate Bill 7 (SB7)  in January, one of the earliest bills in the Senate

SROs are law enforcement officers who, among other things, offer trained and often armed personnel to schools for security purposes. Under existing law, a local board of education may contract with a local police chief or sheriff to employ SROs. However, no provision in Alabama law allows local law enforcement to contract with a non-public school to provide SROs.

SB7 would authorize a sheriff or local chief of police to contract directly with a non-public K-12 school to provide SROs without the input of the local board of education. It would also require a sheriff or local chief of police to charge the non-public school for the total cost of employing any SRO.

Non-public schools include private, church, parochial and religious schools offering K-12 education.  

The House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee amended the bill, clarifying that law enforcement could not contract an SRO with the types of schools mentioned above unless they are made available to every public school system in the county or municipality where the services would be provided.

Tuesday is the legislature's 24th legislative day, with only six remaining for the House and Senate to conduct business. Assuming it passes on the House floor, the Senate must concur with any changes before heading to Gov. Kay Ivey's desk for a signature.

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