SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — School shootings across the county have sparked one California lawmaker to make a change. Assemblymember Phillip Chen (R- Orange County) has introduced new legislation that would require every public school in California to have a police officer on campus.
“I think it might be just a little unnecessary,” said Bobbie Fox, who lives in West Sacramento. “But, I mean, you never know.”
It’s the same scary scene every time. A shooter at one school and parents everywhere become terrified to drop their kids off. Chen is looking to calm those fears with AB750, introduced in the legislature on Tuesday, calling on the Legislature to supply every public school teaching K-12 with a school resource officer.
School Resource Officers, also known as SROs, are members of law enforcement and are usually armed.
According to the National Association of School Resource Officers, the officers must undergo at least 40 hours of specialized training in school policing. Typically they are tasked with keeping kids and teachers safe, along with providing resources to staff members.
“School tragedies nationwide are heartbreaking and we need to be proactive in protecting students,” Chen wrote in a statement. “This is common-sense legislation that will protect lives and prevent future tragedies.”
AB 750 is based on another bill proposed in 2018 by Yuba City Assemblymember James Gallagher. That one didn’t pass because of concerns about funding.
Chen’s office told CBS13 he would like the funding to come from the general fund.
Bobbie Fox is on the fence about Chen’s plan but understands his desire to take precaution.
“My granddaughter goes to school out here and I’d rather a police officer be there than her get shot,” she said.
But Terry Fortado believes AB750 goes too far.
“I think he’s overreacting,” he said. “Maybe I’m old school, but we rode our bikes without helmets and rode in the back of pickup trucks and everything was fine!”
In today’s climate, a pregnant Breanna Wilkins told CBS13 you never can be too careful.
“She’s not even in school yet and I’m already worried about the school shootings and kids bullying, you know?” Wilkins said.
Chen’s goal is to have the officers in all 10,473 public schools in California as soon as this year.