Public Safety (Watch)

Public Safety (Watch)

HB 7101 (Oliva) is a comprehensive public safety bill in response to the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.  The bill:

• Creates the School Safety Awareness Program within the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) to receive early, anonymous information about suspicious or concerning behavior 

• Allows Crime Stoppers Funds to be used for anonymous reporting systems in student crime watch programs 

• Establishes the Office of Safe Schools to serve as a central repository for best practices, examine the effectiveness of recommendations produced using the current self-assessment tool and develop a School Safety Specialist Training Program. Each district school safety specialist must provide school safety training, conduct active shooter drills at least as often as other drills, and annually conduct a security risk self-assessment 

• Establishes a threat assessment team at each school consisting of a counselor, teacher, administrator and school resource officer to determine when a student poses a threat of violence to themselves or others and engage behavioral health crisis resources, if necessary 

• Requires school boards to partner with local law enforcement to address school security needs and increase law enforcement presence, and requires each school district to coordinate with public safety agencies to develop emergency procedures and designate a school safety specialist who must coordinate with local public safety agencies 

• Requires revisions to zero tolerance policies to authorize threat assessment teams to address disruptive behavior through alternatives to expulsion or referral to law enforcement and requires a team to consult with law enforcement in certain circumstances 

• Doubles the number of school resource officers, funds them and requires crisis intervention training for all officers; 

• Requires sheriffs and police chiefs, in certain circumstances, to appoint law enforcement-trained persons who meet specific requirements that exceed those of similar programs nationally, to serve as school marshals 

• Requires and funds all school personnel to receive youth mental health first aid training 

• Funds additional mobile crisis teams and community action teams to create statewide access

• Creates a categorical allocation and provides funding for mental health treatment in schools

• Requires state and local agencies serving students with or at risk of mental illness to coordinate efforts, allows sharing of confidential information, and requires a court to notify a school district when referring a student to mental health services 

• Creates the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission to investigate failures that allowed mass incidents of violence in Florida and make recommendations to prevent such incidents in the future. 

In addition, the bill: 

• Prohibits a licensed importer, manufacturer or dealer from selling a firearm to a person under age 21, with exceptions 

• Expands the mandatory three-day waiting period for handguns to all firearms sold at retail with certain exceptions 

• Prohibits a person from transferring, distributing, selling, keeping for sale, offering for sale, possessing, or giving to another person a bump-fire stock and prohibits importing a bump-fire stock into the state 

• Authorizes a law enforcement agency to seize any firearm and ammunition owned by a person involuntarily examined under the Baker Act who has made a credible threat of violence against another person. Provides for the retention of the firearm and ammunition for an additional 60 days if certain criteria are met. 

The bill appropriates $200 million in recurring general revenue funds and $200 million in nonrecurring general revenue funds and provides appropriations to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Department of Education and the Department of Children and Families, for multiple purposes. (Cook)