HARRISBURG, Pa. — A Pennsylvania law unintentionally stripped school police officers of their ability of make arrests and issue detentions and citations -- powers a lawmaker is now working to restore.
The law, Act 67 of 2019, was intended to enhance school security. However, powers held by school police officers were inadvertently taken away, shifting responsibilities to municipal police, according to Sen. Pam Iovino.
By trying to ensure school officers hired by third-party contractors wouldn't be able to make arrests, the law ended up stripping licensed officers of their powers.
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Iovino is introducing legislation to restore the powers to school police officers. She said she has heard concerns in her district, which includes parts of Allegheny and Washington counties, about how school safety is being impacted.
According to Iovino, her legislation contains language developed after receiving input from both the Senate Democratic and Republican caucuses, as well as the Fraternal Order of Police.
"I am hopeful for strong bi-partisan support for this commonsense school safety legislation," Iovino said.
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