WHAT THEY ARE SAYING... Nationwide Law Enforcement & School Safety Leaders Applaud Sen. Rick Scott’s School Guardian Act
May 24, 2023
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Law enforcement and school safety leaders across the nation are applauding Senator Rick Scott’s School Guardian Act. This bill, which was introduced last month following the horrific shooting at the Covenant School in Nashville, Tennessee, would create a block grant program administered by the U.S. Department of Justice supporting the hiring of one or more law enforcement officers to provide full-time security at every K-12 school in the country, including all public, private and religious schools. This bill builds on Senator Scott’s efforts as Governor of Florida to improve school safety with increased law enforcement and security measures following the horrific shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in 2018.
Senator Scott’s School Guardian Act has been endorsed by:
- Stand With Parkland
- The Florida Sheriffs Association
- The Florida Police Chiefs Association
- The National Association of School Resource Officers
- The National Sheriffs’ Association
- The Florida Association of School Resource Officers
- Citrus County Sheriff Mike Prendergast
- The Indiana Sheriffs’ Association
- The Pennsylvania Association of School Resource Officers
In a recent op-ed in the Citrus County Chronicle, Sheriff Mike Prendergast wrote, “Recent tragic events around the country have once again brought the issue of school safety to the forefront of the national conversation. As Sheriff of Citrus County, I have seen firsthand the importance of having well-trained, armed law enforcement officers in our schools to protect our students and staff. It is vital that we take immediate action to protect our children and provide a safe learning environment. For these very reasons, I am expressing my full support for Sen. Rick Scott’s recent proposal placing a sworn law enforcement officer on every school campus in the country.”
In a letter of support, Michael Marden, Executive Director of the Florida Association of School Resource Officers, wrote, “FASRO has always supported having SROs on every campus and having the right SRO with the right school. As the Executive Director of the organization, I know that I can speak for the FASRO board and its more than one thousand members, that [the] School Guardian Act has our undying support.”
Sheriff Jim Skinner, Chair of the National Sheriffs’ Association Government Affairs Committee, said, "America's sheriffs thank Senator Scott for his leadership on this most important issue of keeping our children safe while at school. In these lean budget times, this legislation will bring invaluable funds to help us protect our schools and keep communities safe."
In a letter of support, Bill Oslick, President of the Pennsylvania Association of School Resource Officers, wrote, “The School Guardian Act will help ensure the safety of all students and school staff by providing much needed funding to keep our schools safe.”
Tony Montalto, President of Stand With Parkland – The National Association of Families for Safe Schools, said, “On behalf of Stand with Parkland, we are proud to endorse Senator Rick Scott’s School Guardian Act to help put trained law enforcement officers in every school. After the tragic shooting at Parkland, we worked closely with then-Governor Scott to make effective changes like this to keep Florida’s schools safe, and we’ve continued this fight to bring change across the nation. No family should have to go through the indescribable heartbreak of having their child or spouse murdered at school. It is essential that parents feel comfortable sending kids to school every day. Knowing their children are protected from danger with a specially selected and highly trained officer standing guard as this bill provides will help do that for all America’s families.”
Hernando County Sheriff Al Nienhuis, President of the Florida Sheriffs Association, said, "The sheriffs greatly appreciate the consistent leadership that Senator Rick Scott brings to D.C. During his time as Florida's Governor, Senator Scott brought statewide law enforcement leaders together to develop historic school safety policy in record time after the tragic Marjory Stoneman Douglas school shooting that rocked our nation. Senator Scott was innovative at that time to create legislation that was foundational for Florida, and he continues to do so. Florida's sheriffs are proud that he is bringing strong school safety legislation to the entire nation with the School Guardian Act."
Fellsmere Chief Keith Touchberry, President of the Florida Police Chiefs, said, “The Florida Police Chiefs Association is proud to stand with Senator Rick Scott in support of his School Guardian Act. Every student deserves to focus on their education without fear, and placing well-trained law enforcement officers in schools fosters a safer learning environment. As Governor, Senator Scott led the effort after the Parkland tragedy to visibly strengthen law enforcement's presence in Florida’s schools, and now his leadership on this issue at the Federal level promises to make our country safer."
Mo Canady, Executive Director of the National Association of School Resource Officers, said, “The National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO) enthusiastically supports Senator Rick Scott’s School Guardian Act with the hope that all schools will have access to funding in order to put carefully selected, specifically trained, and properly equipped school resource officers in place. For 32 years, we at NASRO have pioneered the best practices for school resource officer programs nationwide along with different parts of the world and stand with Senator Scott in the fact that school resource officer programs, when done correctly, have a profound impact and make schools a safer place to be. All students deserve to receive an education in a safe environment.”
Sheriff Randy Retter, President of the Indiana Sheriffs’ Association, said, “The ISA is proud to support Senator Rick Scott’s School Guardian Act. School Safety is a priority to the Indiana Sheriffs and to our Indiana Sheriffs’ Association. Every student in America deserves to feel safe every day while in the classroom. The School Guardian Act will allow Law Enforcement and Educators to continue to build stronger relationships which ‘Builds Communities of Trust.’ Our families deserve this so their children can thrive while in school and know they are protected at all times. The ISA THANKS Senator Rick Scott for The School Guardian Act in keeping our schools safer.”