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 Act 44 also repealed Section 778, School Police Officers, and consolidated this information under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.
Act 67 of 2019 amended Article XIII-C and requires School Police Officers to complete annual in-service training approved by MPOETC under Title 53, Chapter 21, Subchapter D (Act 120). Annual in-service training requirements under Act 120 include 12 hours of approved classroom training, annual
firearms qualification on all duty firearms, and current CPR/AED/First Aid certification.
School Police Officers who need access to MPOETC classroom training should email their court appointment paperwork, including oath of office, and proof of current employment as a School Police Officer to firstname.lastname@example.org for approval. Officers can then visit https://www.pavtn.net/ to request access to online courses.
Act 91 of 2019 further amended Article XIII-C and reinstated the ability of a School Police Officer to be granted, by the court, the authority to exercise the same powers as exercised under authority of law or ordinance by the police of the municipality in which the school property is located.
On November 3, 2022, Governor Wolf signed
Act 121 of 2022, enacting HB 1988, which makes two changes to Title 53, Chapter 21, Subchapter D.
First, the Act added language to the definition of a “police officer” in Title 53 § 2162 specifically enumerating “the State System of Higher Education and its member institutions” (PASSHE). Further, the Act modified § 2168 (Automatic Certification) and provided eligibility criteria and guidance for how officers currently employed by a PASSHE police department will be automatically certified. MPOETC staff has been in contact with the chiefs of the PASSHE departments regarding certification of these officers.
Second, Act 121 added language in Title 53 § 2168 (e) addressing school police officers. The language in § 2168 (e) states that a school police officer, as defined in section 1301-C of the Act of March 14, 1949, known as the Public School Code of 1949, shall be eligible to maintain MPOETC certification if the officer successfully:
- completed the basic education and training requirements established under this subchapter,
- satisfactorily completed the minimum number of in-service training hours established by the commission, and
- either of the following:
- has an active certification; or
- was previously certified as a police officer by the Commission, with a certification that lapsed in the last 2 years, and has been continuously employed as a school police officer in Pennsylvania.
School police officers who maintain certification pursuant to § 2168 (e) are only afforded powers consistent with their appointment under Article XIII-C of the Public School Code of 1949.
PA Department of Education, Office of Safe Schools or 717-783-6612.
PA Commission on Crime and Delinquency, School Safety and Security.