House Passes Bill to Update School Emergency Communication Systems

Mar 14, 2024
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OKLAHOMA CITY – Rep. Ross Ford, R-Broken Arrow, this week passed legislation in the House that would allow school districts to acquire communications and alarm systems that can be used between schools, counties, municipalities and law enforcement departments in the event of emergencies or school shootings. 

House Bill 3860 would create the School Safety Interoperability Fund that would be administered by the Department of Public Safety.

"This would allow school districts to purchase radio and camera systems that can interact with local law enforcement departments and others to help them respond quickly should an emergency arise," Ford said. "When these systems are in place, an officer can literally flip a switch and render instructions and assistance while en route to the school."

Ford, a former police officer and director of school security, said the systems could save lives when minutes count.

Ford also passed several additional measures in the House this week. 

House Bill 3858 would modify the Oklahoma Police Pension and Retirement system, keeping the state in line with IRS requirements on the required minimum distribution age, and raising the penalties from 1.5% to 5% for late contributions to the system.

House Bill 3862 would limit claw-backs by insurance companies when pre-authorization for medical procedures or services has been granted. Non-compliance with specified deadlines would result in health care services being deemed authorized.

The measures now move to the Senate for consideration. 

Oklahoma House of Representatives seal