MONTGOMERY — Although redistricting was the main focus of the just-completed special session, House and Senate members also unanimously passed legislation adding retired state police officers to the list of law enforcement groups that can now serve as school resource officers or correctional officers without losing retirement benefits.
The bill was introduced by State Sen. Arthur Orr (R-Decatur) and carried by State Rep. Russell Bedsole (R-Alabaster) in the House.
Lawmakers previously passed into law in the regular session earlier in 2023 legislation allowing retired law enforcement to temporarily serve as school resource or correctional officers without losing their retirement benefits.
Bedsole said on Friday on the House floor the bill was brought in the special session because state police weren’t technically considered “law enforcement officers” as defined by state code.
“Last session we passed a bill that would allow more law enforcement officers to be hired in their retirement status to be inside of our schools as school resource officers. The specific language that we used in that bill did use those words ‘law enforcement officers.’ What I have before you is a slight fix that would allow anyone who is retired as a state policeman to also be included in that so they can work inside of our schools as school resource officers and make up to $52,000 in their retirement status,” Bedsole said. “Just adding the state policeman in is all we’re changing here. State code slightly differs between law enforcement officers and state policemen.”
The program expires at the end of 2026 under the proposal.
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