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Already A Major Snag In School Marshal Program

Ryan Poppe | Texas Public Radio
TPR News

The Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education (TCLEOSE) is creating the Texas School Marshal Program that passed during the past legislative session, but there is an issue with where the marshals will get their training.

The law takes effect in Sept. for the start of the school year, but TCLEOSE has until Jan. 1, 2014, to finalize the curriculum and find a series of locations willing to teach the course.

"If a school district wants to take part of this program and they want to have school marshals on their campuses then they will have to work out an agreement -- an arrangement -- with a regular police academy to send those people to that academy for that 80 hours -- or the academy may come out in the field to teach it since it's 80 hours," said TCLEOSE Chief KimVickers.

So far none of the 106 police academies in Texas have said they will train this new class of law enforcement officer.

People who participate in the School Marshal Program must be a current school employee who is already a concealed handgun license holder. The marshal job will be an additional role that they take on.

Vickers said much of the training will be protocol on what to do and what not to do:

"If you have someone that is going to have a gun in a hall filled with school kids, you want to make sure they have a very good grasp of use of force, shooting techniques and ways to keep something tragic from happening," Vickers said.

Vickers said the committee tasked with creating the school marshal curriculum is made up of top law enforcement officials from all across the state. He projects the team will complete the lesson plan by the end of the month. 

The training could cost school districts thousands of dollars, but Vickers said there is interest in the program, even amongst larger school districts with their own police departments.

Ryan started his radio career in 2002 working for Austin’s News Radio KLBJ-AM as a show producer for the station's organic gardening shows. This slowly evolved into a role as the morning show producer and later as the group’s executive producer.