Guyton: Call about SRO legislation

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 Speaking at the April 2 Gadsden City Council meeting, Mayor Sherman Guyton urged residents to call their state lawmakers and support a proposed bill that city leaders believe will provide feasible and affordable way to improve school security.
    Over the last few months, the city has taken applications from retired law enforcement officers and military personnel — the kind of people who can be easily recertified to legally carry firearms in a school building under federal law.
    State Rep. Craig Ford sponsored legislation to waive the stringent physical fitness requirements officers must meet to patrol the streets — something Guyton said could eliminate some applicants and discourage others from applying.
Officers would be required to meet firearms certification every two years.
    State Rep. Mack Butler proposed an amendment to the bill that would require the parttime SRO appliants to meet Alabama Peace Officers Training standards for physical fitness just as any police officer completing police academy training would.
    Butler has said he met the standards at age 45 when he became a reserve deputy.
    Guyton said the city will lose some applicants if they must go through an 80-hour certification course, which would be required for certification without a change of law.
    City leaders want to have SROs in all city schools, and Guyton said there is not likely to be time to advertise and pass another bill during this legislative session.
    He urged residents to call their lawmakers and tell them to “get off the pot and pass this bill.”

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