School security teams proposed under Alabama legislation

School security teams proposed under Alabama legislation
(Source: WSFA 12 News file photo)

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Imagine a neighborhood watch approach to school security. That is the idea behind legislation being pushed by Alabama state Rep. Allen Farley's, which would allow schools to work with local law enforcement to create a trained school security program.

The team could be made up of teachers, school officials, coaches, or almost any member of the community. Farley said the names would be vetted and trained by law enforcement on how to handle an active shooter. Members on the team could be armed and would be known by law enforcement if they were responding to an active shooter situation.

Under the plan, only a select few would know who were members of the security team.

The bill is based of a local legislation passed for Franklin County back in 2013. Johnny Mack Morrow, D-Red Bay, was the bill sponsor. He said schools in the district are sometimes as much as 30 minutes away from local law enforcement.

"It's about creating a security force much like the neighborhood watch program that was so popular back in the 70s and 80s, and it worked in Alabama in rural areas, and it will work again," Morrow said.

Morrow is supportive of implementing the plan statewide and says he believes in law enforcement and educators' abilities to come up with a plan.

"They are the experts. I'll let them decide. I'm a legislator I don't know what a good security program is," Morrow said.

Farley said he decided to propose a statewide version of the legislation after talking to Franklin County officials.

"They had nothing negative to say. They say it had worked. It had worked beautifully," Farley explained.

Farley said the training aspect of the team would allow law enforcement to be familiar with those who may be armed inside the schools, to not get in the way of a dangerous crossfire.

The bill is just the latest of multiple proposals dealing with either school safety or guns in the wake of the Florida school shooting that claimed 17 lives.

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