Security Assessments and Assistance for Schools and Emergency Response Plans for Institutions of Higher Education

Suggested State Legislation: 2009 Docket

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Submitted as
Connecticut
Public Act 07-208
Status: Enacted into law in 2007.

The Act establishes a state grant program to improve security infrastructure in schools, install security systems in schools’ primary entryways, purchase portable security devices, and train school personnel to use the devices and the infrastructure. The grants reimburse school districts for 20% to 80% of the eligible expenses for such security measures incurred after the Act's effective date. The reimbursement percentage is based on the district’s wealth. To receive a grant, a district must show that it has conducted a uniform security assessment of its school entrances and any security infrastructure; has an emergency plan at its schools developed with applicable state and local first-responders; and periodically practices the plan. The security assessment must be carried out under the supervision of the district’s local law enforcement agency and use the Safe Schools Facilities Check List published by the National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities.

The Act also requires colleges, universities, and private occupational schools to have emergency response plans and by that date and annually thereafter, submit their plans to the public safety and emergency management and homeland security commissioners and local firstresponders.

Institutions must consult local first-responders in developing their plans. Each plan must include a method for notifying the institution’s students, employees, and visitors of emergency information.

(Title, enacting clause, etc.)

Section 1. [Short Title.] This Act shall be cited as “An Act Concerning Security Assessments and Assistance for Schools and Emergency Response Plans for Institutions of Higher Education.”

Section 2. [Requiring Security Infrastructure at New or Rebuilt Entrances to Schools.]
Plans submitted to the [insert department] after [insert date] for building, extending, altering, renovating, or replacing a school entrance as defined under [insert citation] must include security infrastructure as defined under [insert citation] for such entrance.

Section 3. [School Security Competitive Grant Program.]
(a) For the fiscal year ending [June 30, 2008], the [Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security] shall administer, within available appropriations, a School Security Competitive Grant Program to reimburse towns for certain expenses for schools under the jurisdiction of the town's school district incurred on or after the effective date of this section for:
(1) the development or improvement of the security infrastructure of schools based on the results of assessments of security for the entrances of the schools including, but not limited to, the installation of surveillance cameras, entry door buzzer systems, scan card systems, panic alarms or other systems; and
(2) (A) the training of school personnel in the operation and maintenance of the security infrastructure of school entrances, or
(B) the purchase of portable entrance security devices, including, but not limited to, metal detector wands, screening machines and related training.
(b) The [Commissioner of Emergency Management and Homeland Security], in consultation with the [Commissioner of Public Safety], shall determine which expenses are eligible for reimbursement under the program.
(c) Each local and regional board of education may, on behalf of its town or its member towns, apply to the [Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security] for a grant at such time and in such manner as the [Commissioner of Emergency Management and Homeland Security] prescribes.
(d) A town may receive a grant equal to a percentage of its eligible expenses. The percentage shall be determined as follows:
(1) each town shall be ranked in descending order from [one to one hundred sixty-nine] according to town wealth, as defined in [insert citation],
(2) based upon such ranking, a percentage of not less than [twenty or more than eighty] shall be assigned to each town on a continuous scale, and
(3) the town ranked first shall be assigned a percentage of [twenty] and the town ranked last shall be assigned a percentage of [eighty]. If there are not sufficient funds to provide grants to all towns based on the percentage determined pursuant to this subsection, the [Commissioner of Emergency Management and Homeland Security], in consultation with the [Commissioner of Public Safety], shall give priority to applicants on behalf of schools with the greatest need for security infrastructure, as determined by said [commissioners] based on assessments of security for the entrances of the schools under the jurisdiction of the town's school district conducted pursuant to this subsection. Of the applicants on behalf of such schools with the greatest need for security infrastructure, said [commissioners] shall give first priority to applicants on behalf of schools that have no security infrastructure for entrances at the time of such assessment and succeeding priority to applicants on behalf of schools located in priority school districts pursuant to [insert citation].
(e) To be eligible for reimbursement pursuant to this section, an applicant board of education shall:
(1) demonstrate that it has developed and periodically practices an emergency plan at the schools under its jurisdiction and that such plan has been developed in concert with applicable state or local first-responders, and
(2) provide for a uniform assessment of the entrances of the schools under its jurisdiction, including any security infrastructure, using the National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities' Safe Schools Facilities Check List. The assessment shall be conducted under the supervision of the local law enforcement agency.
(f) The [Commissioner of Education] shall enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with the [Commissioner of Emergency Management and Homeland Security] to transfer any funds appropriated to the [Department of Education] for grants under this section to the [Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security] for the purpose of such grants.
(g) The [Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security] may retain up to [one and five-tenths per cent] of the amount appropriated for such grants for administration of the program pursuant to this section.

Section 4. [Uniform Campus Crime Report.]
(a) On or before [September 1, 1991], and [annually] thereafter, each institution of higher education shall prepare in such manner as the [Commissioner of Higher Education] shall prescribe a Uniform Campus Crime Report concerning crimes committed in the immediately preceding calendar year within the geographical limits of the property owned or under the control of such institution. Such report shall be in accordance with the Uniform Crime Reporting System pursuant to [insert citation], provided such report is limited to those offenses included in part I of the most recently published edition of the Uniform Crime Reports for the United States as authorized by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United States Department of Justice and sexual assault under sections 53a-70, 53a-70a, 53a-70b, 53a-71, 53a-72a, 53a-72b and 53a-73a. The [state police, local police departments and special police forces] established pursuant to [insert citation] shall cooperate with institutions of higher education in preparing such reports. Institutions with more than one campus shall prepare such reports for each campus.
(b) Each annual report prepared pursuant to subsection (a) of this section shall include
(1) the number of full-time equivalent students;
(2) the number of full-time equivalent employees;
(3) the number of students and employees residing in campus housing;
(4) for each category of offense, the number of incidents reported and the crime rate; and
(5) the crime rate shall be equal to the number of incidents reported divided by the total number of full-time equivalent students and employees.
(c) On or before [October 1, 2007], each institution of higher education and private occupational school, as defined under [insert citation] shall have an emergency response plan. On or before [October 1, 2007], and annually thereafter, each institution of higher education and private occupational school shall submit a copy of its emergency response plan to the [Commissioners of Public Safety and Emergency Management and Homeland Security], and local first responders. Such plan shall be developed in consultation with such first responders and shall include a strategy for notifying students and employees of the institution or school and visitors to such institution or school of emergency information.
(d) Each institution of higher education shall notify, in writing, each person who submits an application for admission to the institution, each new employee at the time of employment and all students and employees annually at the beginning of each academic year of the availability of the report prepared pursuant to subsection (a) of this section and shall, upon request, provide the most recent report to any such applicant, employee or student.

Section 5. [Severability.] [Insert severability clause.]

Section 6. [Repealer.] [Insert repealer clause.]

Section 7. [Effective Date.] [Insert effective date.]

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