State law authorizes the placement of local law enforcement or security personnel on school campuses through MOUs or partnership agreements.
Official Code of Georgia Annotated 20-2-1183. Written agreement for law enforcement officers in schools
When a local school system assigns or employs law enforcement officers in schools, the local board of education shall have a collaborative written agreement with law enforcement officials to establish the role of law enforcement and school employees in school disciplinary matters and ensure coordination and cooperation among officials, agencies, and programs involved in school discipline and public protection.
Official Code of Georgia Annotated 20-8-1. Definitions
As used in this chapter, the term:
- (1) "Campus" means the grounds and buildings owned or occupied by a college or university or the grounds and buildings of a school or training facility operated by or under the authority of the State Board of Education. The term "campus" shall also include any public or private property within 500 yards of the property of an educational facility and one-quarter mile of any public street or public sidewalk connecting different buildings of the same educational facility when the property or buildings of the educational facility are located within any county in this state having a population of 400,000 or more according to the United States decennial census of 1970 or any future such census.
- (2) "Campus policeman" means an employee of an educational facility whose duties include the enforcement of the laws of this state; the preservation of public order; the protection of life and property; the prevention, detection, or investigation of crime; or any combination thereof.
- (3) "College or university" means an accredited, nonproprietary, public or private educational institution of higher learning located in this state.
- (4) "Educational facility" means a college or university or a school or training facility operated by or under the authority of the State Board of Education.
Official Code of Georgia Annotated 20-8-2. Law enforcement powers
On the campus of an educational facility, a campus policeman employed by such educational facility who is certified in accordance with Code Section 20-8-3 and when authorized by the governing body or authority of such educational facility shall have the same law enforcement powers, including the power of arrest, as a law enforcement officer of the local government with police jurisdiction over such campus.
Official Code of Georgia Annotated 20-8-3. Certification required
As a condition precedent to the exercise of law enforcement powers pursuant to Code Section 20-8-2, a campus policeman must be certified by the Georgia Peace Officer Standard and Training Council as having met the qualifications and having completed the basic training requirements for a peace officer under Article 2 of Chapter 2 of Title 35. All costs incurred in such certification and training shall be paid by the educational facility employing the campus policeman. This chapter is permissive and shall not require the certification of campus policemen by the Georgia Peace Officer Standard and Training Council. The certification of a campus policeman by the Georgia Peace Officer Standard and Training Council does not require that the campus policeman so certified exercise the powers provided in Code Section 20-8-2.
Official Code of Georgia Annotated 20-8-5. Law enforcement powers of school security personnel in each public school system of the state; certification; carrying of firearms or weapons
(a) In each public school system in this state, school security personnel employed by the board of education of a county or an independent board of education of a municipality for the various public schools thereof who are certified pursuant to subsection (b) of this Code section and who are authorized by the board of education of that county or the independent board of education of that municipality shall have the same law enforcement powers on school property, including the power of arrest, as law enforcement officers of that respective county or municipality.
(b) As a condition precedent to the exercise of law enforcement powers pursuant to subsection (a) of this Code section, school security personnel must be certified by the Georgia Peace Officer Standard and Training Council as having met the qualifications and having completed the basic training requirements for a peace officer under Chapter 8 of Title 35. The certification of school security personnel by the Georgia Peace Officer Standard and Training Council does not require that such security personnel exercise the powers provided in subsection (a) of this Code section.
(c) The provisions of this Code section shall not prohibit a board of education of a county or an independent board of education of a municipality from employing school security personnel without law enforcement powers.
(d) School security personnel who are certified by the Georgia Peace Officer Standard and Training Council may be authorized by a local board of education to carry a standard issue firearm or weapon generally used for law enforcement purposes for the purpose of carrying out law enforcement duties.
Safe School Plan Template for Georgia Public Schools
This Safe School Plan Template is designed to assist schools in the development of a Safe School Plan and identifies the appropriate role of officers on school campuses in response to crises.
School Resource Officers, School Law Enforcement Units, and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
Document addresses FAQs regarding the appropriate role of officers on school campuses and the sharing of student educational records or personally identifiable information.
School Safety Assessment
School safety assessment addresses multiple indicators of safety that apply to the total school environment, including the presence and role of school resource officers and law enforcement.