State law authorizes the placement of local law enforcement or security personnel and establishes clear guidelines and safeguards regarding the appropriate role of officers on school campuses.
California Education Code 32282.1 School Safety Plans
(a) As comprehensive school safety plans are reviewed and updated, the Legislature encourages all plans, to the extent that resources are available, to include clear guidelines for the roles and responsibilities of mental health professionals, community intervention professionals, school counselors, school resource officers, and police officers on school campuses, if the school district uses these people.
(b) The guidelines developed pursuant to subdivision (a) are encouraged to include both of the following:
- (1) Primary strategies to create and maintain a positive school climate, promote school safety, and increase pupil achievement, and prioritize mental health and intervention services, restorative and transformative justice programs, and positive behavior interventions and support.
- (2) Consistent with paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 32282, protocols to address the mental health care of pupils who have witnessed a violent act at any time, including, but not limited to, any of the following:
- (A) While on school grounds.
- (B) While going to or coming from school.
- (C) During a lunch period whether on or off campus.
- (D) During, or while going to or coming from, a school-sponsored activity.
California Education Code 38000. Authority to establish security or police department; Qualifications for chief; Assignment of school police reserve officer
(a) The governing board of a school district may establish a security department under the supervision of a chief of security as designated by, and under the direction of, the superintendent of the school district. In accordance with Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 45100) of Part 25, the governing board of a school district may employ personnel to ensure the safety of school district personnel and pupils and the security of the real and personal property of the school district. It is the intent of the Legislature in enacting this section that a school district security department is supplementary to city and county law enforcement agencies and is not vested with general police powers. (b) The governing board of a school district may establish a school police department under the supervision of a school chief of police and, in accordance with Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 45100) of Part 25, may employ peace officers, as defined in subdivision (b) of Section 830.32 of the Penal Code, to ensure the safety of school district personnel and pupils, and the security of the real and personal property of the school district. (c) The governing board of a school district that establishes a security department or a police department shall set minimum qualifications of employment for the chief of security or school chief of police, respectively, including, but not limited to, prior employment as a peace officer or completion of a peace officer training course approved by the Commission on Peace Officer Standard and Training. A chief of security or school chief of police shall comply with the prior employment or training requirement set forth in this subdivision as of January 1, 1993, or a date one year subsequent to the initial employment of the chief of security or school chief of police by the school district, whichever occurs later. This subdivision shall not be construed to require the employment by a school district of additional personnel. (d) A school district may assign a school police reserve officer who is deputized pursuant to Section 35021.5 to a schoolsite to supplement the duties of school police officers pursuant to this section.
California Education Code 38001.5. Required training course for school security officers; Fingerprint requirements
(a) It is the intent of the Legislature to ensure the safety of pupils, staff, and the public on or near California’s public schools, by providing school security officers with training that will enable them to deal with the increasingly diverse and dangerous situations they encounter. (b)
- (1) Every school security officer employed by a school district shall complete the latest course of training developed by the Bureau of Security and Investigative Services of the Department of Consumer Affairs in consultation with the Commission on Peace Officer Standard and Training pursuant to Section 7583.45 of the Business and Professions Code. If a school security officer subject to the requirements of this subdivision is required to carry a firearm while performing their duties, that school security officer shall additionally satisfy the training requirements of Section 832 of the Penal Code.
- (2) A school district shall provide the training required pursuant to this subdivision to all school security officers who are employees of the school district. A school district shall provide the training during the employee’s regular work hours, unless otherwise negotiated and mutually agreed upon with the employee’s exclusive representative.
- (3) This subdivision does not require a school district to provide training to security guards who are not employees of the school district, including security guards who work on the property of the school district pursuant to a contract with a private licensed security agency. A school district that contracts for security services shall comply with the requirements of Section 45103.1.
- (4) This subdivision shall not apply to a school security officer employed by a school district who works 20 or fewer hours per week as a school security officer until July 1, 2021.
- (5) For purposes of this subdivision, “school district” includes a school district, county office of education, and charter school. (c) For purposes of this chapter, “school security officer” means any person primarily employed or assigned pursuant to subdivision (b) to provide security services as a watchperson, security guard, or patrolperson on or about premises owned or operated by a school district to protect persons or property or to prevent the theft or unlawful taking of school district property of any kind or to report any unlawful activity to the school district and local law enforcement agencies. (d)
- (1) A school security officer shall not be employed and shall not continue to be employed by a school district until both of the following conditions have been met:
- (i) The applicant or employee has submitted to the school district two copies of their fingerprints on forms or electronically, as prescribed by the Department of Justice. The school district shall submit the fingerprints to the Department of Justice, which shall submit one copy of the fingerprints to the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation.
- (ii) An applicant or contracted employee who holds a permanent registration with the Bureau of Security and Investigative Services of the Department of Consumer Affairs as a security guard need only submit one copy of their fingerprints, which copy shall be submitted to the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation.
- (iii) An applicant or contracted employee who is registered by the Bureau of Security and Investigative Services of the Department of Consumer Affairs, and who holds a firearms qualification card as specified in Section 7583.22 of the Business and Professions Code, is exempt from the requirements of this subdivision.
- (B) The applicant or employee has been determined not to be a person prohibited from employment by a school district pursuant to Sections 44237 and 45122.1, or by the Department of Justice from possessing a firearm if the applicant is required to carry a firearm.
- (2) The Department of Justice may participate in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) in lieu of submitting fingerprints to the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation in order to meet the requirements of this subdivision relating to firearms.