Monday, March 13, 2023

State Senate approves bill adding first responders to school security drills

Senate approves bill adding first responders to school security drills

OKLAHOMA CITY (March 13th) – The Senate has vote unanimously for legislation to help improve the effectiveness of school security drills in Oklahoma.  Senate Bill 169, by Sen. Todd Gollihare, would require first responders to be on scene and directly involved in at least one security drill a year.

Current state law requires all public schools to conduct at least four security drills each school year.  Additional drills may be conducted at the discretion of the district.  Gollihare, R-Kellyville, said involving the first responders, who would be part of an actual emergency, will help enhance the effectiveness of these drills.

“Having multiple drills is helpful, but if there was a real threat, I believe the students, teachers and administrators would be much better prepared if they have an opportunity to work with local law enforcement officers and emergency medical providers who would be on the scene, so they have a better understanding of what to expect,” Gollihare said. “You play the way you practice, and I believe including first responders will give everyone involved a much better understanding of what to expect and what they need to do if there’s a real emergency.”

SB 169 would require school districts to notify law enforcement officers and emergency medical service providers at least 48 hours before conducting a security drill that they’re expected to attend.

The bill now moves to the House of Representatives for further consideration. Rep. Ty Burns, R- Pawnee, is the principal House author. If the measure becomes law, it will take effect on July 1, 2023.


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