Knight bill focuses on school protection
Merdies Hayes Editor In Chief | 3/23/2018, midnight
Rep. Steve Knight (CA-25) has introduced H.R. 5307, The School Training, Equipment, and Protection (STEP) Act. This bill is the result of discussions with law enforcement professionals and other members of Congress to implement specific measures that will improve school safety.
“When I spoke with law enforcement professionals following the tragedy in Parkland, Florida, there were two central concerns that they shared,” Knight said. “First, there needs to be better training for law enforcement and school personnel to respond to an active shooter situation. Second, schools need to determine where their security vulnerabilities are and address those issues. This bill allocates resources for both of these goals and several other related measures.”
The STEP Act designates $50 million of an existing Department of Education grant program to be used for seven specific purposes:
1) Barricade technology to enable faculty to quickly strengthen doors and windows in the event of an active threat situation
2) Surveillance technology
3) Individualized active shooter alarms
4) Security and active shooter training for school faculty and staff
5) Coordination activities with local law enforcement agencies
6) Active shooter training exercises on school grounds for local law enforcement agencies
7) Vulnerability assessments and corresponding action plans, as executed by local law enforcement agencies
“We need real, passable solutions to our school gun violence problem. For far too long, both sides of the aisle just point fingers at one another after tragedies while nothing gets done,” Knight added. “It’s time for Congress to step up and deliver bipartisan solutions to this problem. Yesterday, we passed the STOP School Violence Act to address many of the problems that lead up to an incident. The STEP Act will give schools and law enforcement the tools and training necessary to better respond to and mitigate these incidences when they occur.”
Knight served as an Los Angeles Police Department officer for 18 years and is currently a member of the Law Enforcement Task Force in the House of Representatives. On March 1, Knight hosted two roundtables with local and federal law enforcement professionals to share ideas that would be integrated into the STEP Act.