Posted on March 12, 2019 by Greg MacKinnon
Hartford – State Representative J.P. Sredzinski (R-Monroe) took the opportunity to question a representative of the State’s Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP) regarding legislation aimed at strengthening school security protocol and action during the Public Safety Committee’s Public Hearing on Tuesday, March 12.
“The School Security Working Group has met with key stakeholders: school administrators, first responders and parents in order to determine actionable recommendations for the legislature to act upon during the current legislative session. Today I was able to drill down on some of those proposals in order to get an idea of what we can do to support DESPP and local school districts in their duty of keeping our school children safe when they are trying to learn,” stated Rep. Sredzinski.
The specific piece of legislation discussed between Rep. Sredzinski and DESPP was House Bill 7291: An Act Concerning School Security.
In their discussion it was established that there could be improvements made to an education safety law that was approved by the legislature in 2013, following the December 14, 2012 tragedy of Sandy Hook.
According to Rep. Sredzinski, one way would be to create a database of security consultants who have been determined to be qualified to help schools create and prepare emergency response plans. Additionally, some of the criteria school districts must consider while creating such plans should be updated to reflect the security improvements and knowledge of the last six years.
Another piece of legislation that was discussed at today’s hearing was House Bill 7332: An Act Concerning Public Safety and the Welfare of Repeat Juvenile Offenders and their Victims.
Rep. Sredzinski is a co-sponsor of this legislation, which is aimed at toughening penalties on minors that have committed numerous serious criminal offenses like vehicle theft. “There are many communities across the state seeing increased crime especially in regard to motor vehicle theft by juveniles. This law would require that after the fourth felony conviction of a minor, that case would automatically be referred to criminal court. This will improve law enforcement officer safety as well as improve overall public safety throughout the state.”
The Public Safety Committee will be considering both pieces of legislation over the coming weeks. Rep. Sredzinski is hopeful that both initiatives will move forward to the House of Representatives for greater consideration.