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Indicates Matter Stricken
Indicates New Matter
April 26, 2000
S. Printed 4/26/00--S.
Read the first time January 11, 2000.
TO AMEND SECTION 5-7-12 OF THE SOUTH CAROLINA CODE OF LAWS, 1976, RELATING TO DESIGNATION OF SCHOOL RESOURCE OFFICERS, SO AS TO FURTHER PROVIDE FOR TRAINING AND REGULATION OF SUCH OFFICERS.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. Section 5-7-12 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"(A) The governing body of a municipality or county may upon the request of any other governing body or of any other political subdivision of the State, including school districts, designate certain officers to be assigned to the duty of a school resource officer and to work within the school systems of the municipality or county. The person assigned as a school resource officer shall have statewide jurisdiction to arrest persons committing crimes in connection with a school activity or school-sponsored event. When acting pursuant to this section and outside of the sworn municipality or county of the school resource officer, the officer shall enjoy all authority, rights, privileges, and immunities, including coverage under the workers' compensation laws that he would have enjoyed if operating in his sworn jurisdiction.
(B) Beginning on January 1, 2001, officers designated as school resource officers may not assume the duties and responsibilities associated with that designation until completion of the Resource Officer/Counselor Certification and Training Course to be developed and administered by the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED). The Resource Officer/Counselor Certification and Training Course must be completed in addition to the basic course instruction for School Resource Officers.
The curriculum for the Resource Officer/Counselor Certification and Training Course must include a minimum of fourteen weeks of classroom instruction in the areas of law enforcement procedures, school-related administrative procedures, counseling, conflict resolution, and other course instruction deemed appropriate by SLED in conjunction with local law enforcement officials and the State Department of Education. Each school resource officer must demonstrate proficiency in the course material through passage of a written two-part examination to be administered upon completion of the requisite course work. The first part of the examination will test the officer's knowledge of law enforcement and administrative procedures associated with school-related situations. The final portion of the exam will test the officer's knowledge of counseling and conflict resolution for school-aged children.
Upon completion of the course work and passage of both sections of the written examination, officers will receive certification as Resource Officer/Counselor. Officers receiving the Resource Officer/Counselor designation will be entitled to assume the duties of resource officers and, in addition, serve as school counselor assistants. Candidates who successfully pass the Resource Officer portion of the examination but are unsuccessful on the final portion of the examination will not be entitled to serve as counselor assistants, but may perform all other duties of a resource officer. Candidates who are unsuccessful on the Resource Officer portion of the examination may not serve as resource officers or counselor assistants. An unsuccessful candidate may retest not more than three consecutive times before attendance of a two-week refresher course will be required.
(C) Officers currently serving as D.A.R.E. officers may serve as school resource officers without attendance of the Resource Officer/Counselor Certification and Training Course.
(D) On or after the effective date of this section, SLED, in conjunction with local law enforcement officials and the State Department of Education, must promulgate regulations governing the employment, function, and conduct of school resource officers. A copy of the regulations must be disseminated to each school district within the state, local law enforcement headquarters, and SLED to be available for public inspection and copying upon request. Each agency supplying a copy of the regulations to a member of the public may charge a reasonable fee for the service not to exceed the actual cost to that agency for providing the copy.
(B) (E) For purposes of this section, a `school resource officer' is defined as a person who is a sworn law enforcement officer pursuant to the requirements of any jurisdiction of this State, who has completed the basic course of instruction for School Resource Officers as provided or recognized by the National Association of School Resource Officers or the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy, and who is assigned to one or more school districts within this State to have as a primary duty the responsibility to act as a law enforcement officer, advisor, and teacher for that school district."
SECTION 2. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
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