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Tennessee bill eyes off-duty officers for school security

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A bipartisan bill would let Tennessee school districts hire off-duty law enforcement officers to bolster existing school security.

Republican Rep. Micah Van Huss of Jonesborough and Democratic Rep. Antonio Parkinson of Memphis announced the legislation Wednesday.

Under it, participating districts would get a list of interested officers. Officers would have to carry a loaded handgun. Districts would choose whether officers would wear uniforms and whether they have rifles.

Up to two officers would be offered per school. The program adds to existing school resource officers.

Using civil asset forfeiture money, the state would pay officers $50 per school day and $50 for afterschool events. Any additional money would come from state reserves.

Republican Senate sponsor Sen. Mark Green of Clarksville called it an emergency measure. It would sunset in 2022.

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