ohio capitol

Ohio Bill Would Create Statewide School Marshal Program

The legislation would involve appointing a chief school marshal and 16 regional marshals to provide security services across Ohio.

A new proposal in the Ohio State Senate would create a school marshal program within the state’s Department of Public Safety, offering school security to public and private schools throughout Ohio.

The state’s analysis of Senate Bill 147 found that the proposed program could cost millions of dollars, The Center Square reported. The bill, introduced by Republican Sen. Frank Hoagland, does not appropriate funding, instead indicating that the department could reallocate its existing budget to fund school marshals.

Under the terms of the current proposal, the director of public safety would appoint a chief school marshal who would then select 16 regional school marshals to provide safety services across the state. In addition, the bill would require school officials to carry out additional emergency management tests and update their school building emergency management plans.

Joe Charles, a co-owner of security company 360 Safe Solutions, told the Senate Local Government, Public Safety and Veterans Affairs Committee that the program would improve Ohio’s school safety protocols and procedures “by delivering a comprehensive safety plan for all primary and secondary schools and institutions of higher education.”

“The biggest challenge I see in place today in Ohio regarding school safety is the individual school’s administrators have too much leeway in determining what is best for school safety,” Charles said in prepared testimony, according to The Center Square. “Our school administrators have been educated in best practices for what to teach and how to teach not what are best practices for school safety.”

The bill is the latest action by Ohio state government on school safety. Last month, the Ohio School Safety Center created by Gov. Mike DeWine held its first-ever meeting with 42 school administrators and security officials from across the state.

The working group is planning to meet periodically to work on recommendations and guidelines for school security. Eight homeland security employees have been moved from other positions to focus solely on building the center and promoting school safety.

About the Author

Haley Samsel is an Associate Content Editor for the Infrastructure Solutions Group at 1105 Media.