On June 22, 2018, Governor Tom Wolf signed
Act 44 of 2018 (amending the Public School Code of 1949) into law, creating a School Safety and Security Committee within the Pennsylvania Commission for Crime and Delinquency (PCCD). Act 44 also repealed Section 778, School Police Officers, and consolidated this information under Article XIII-C, School Police Officers and School Resource Officers. Below are relevant definitions and links to both the Department of Education, Office of Safe Schools and the Pennsylvania Commission for Crime and Delinquency websites.
"School Police Officer"
A law officer employed by a school district whose responsibilities, including work hours, are established by the school district. These officers are appointed by the courts and are not certified by the Municipal Police Officer’s Education and Training Commission (MPOETC). To be appointed, School Police officers must meet minimum training standards as specified in Section 1304-C. Officers who are appointed by the court as a School Police officer will have to meet the Act 120 annual training requirements including firearms qualification, 12 hours of in-service training, and maintaining a current CPR/AED/First Aid certification. Documentation of this training should not be sent to MPOETC, but must be provided to the employing school entity to include in their annual report to the Office of Safe Schools as specified in Section 1303-C.
"School Resource Officer"
A law enforcement officer commissioned and employed by a law enforcement agency whose duty station is located in a school entity and whose stationing is established by an agreement between the law enforcement agency and the school entity. These officers are Act 120 certified municipal police officers and must comply with established in-service training requirements to retain certification. More information about
certification as an Act 120 municipal police officer
"School Security Guard" An individual employed by a school entity or a third-party contractor who is assigned to a school for routine safety and security duties and is not engaged in programs with students at the school. According to a Pennsylvania Department of Education memorandum, disseminated to Pennsylvania schools on February 25, 2019, school security guards who are employed by school entities – either as employees or independent contractors – are not authorized to possess a firearm within the scope of that employment. Questions regarding this memorandum or relating to school security guards who are currently armed and who were formerly required to be certified under Act 235 (relating to lethal weapons) should be directed to the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Office of Safe Schools at (717) 783-6612.