Washington State

House of Representatives

Office of Program Research



Education Committee

2SSB 5141

This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.

Brief Description: Concerning school resource officer mandatory training and policies.

Sponsors: Senate Committee on Ways & Means (originally sponsored by Senators Wellman, Kuderer, Nguyen, Hunt, Das, Palumbo, Billig, Liias, Darneille, Frockt, Hasegawa and Wilson, C.).

Brief Summary of Second Substitute Bill

  • Establishes a statutory definition of "school resource officer" (SRO).

  • Establishes requirements for school district SRO programs, including training requirements for SROs and minimum content and review requirements for SRO agreements between school districts and local law enforcement agencies.

  • Directs the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction to establish and implement a grant program for SRO training, and to provide a report to the Legislature and the Governor each year the program is funded.

Hearing Date: 3/14/19

Staff: Ethan Moreno (786-7386).


The position of school resource officer (SRO) is not established or defined in Washington law, but the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) indicates that an SRO is:

A model policy of the Washington State School Directors' Association, the state agency that provides advice and assistance to local school boards, specifies that if a district engages with a SRO, the district should, in a written memorandum of understanding, clarify its relationship with the SRO, including the SRO's purpose, role, supervisory structure, and limitations on access to student information.

Summary of Bill:

Establishing a Definition for School Resource Officer.

An SRO is defined as a commissioned law enforcement officer in the state of Washington that: has sworn authority to make arrests; is deployed in community-oriented policing; and is assigned by the employing police department or sheriff's office to work in schools to address crime and disorder problems, gangs, and drug activities affecting or occurring in or around kindergarten through grade 12 schools. The definition also provides that SROs should focus on keeping students out of the criminal justice system when possible, and should not be used to attempt to impose criminal sanctions in matters that are more appropriately handled within the educational system.

Requirements for School Resource Officer Programs in School Districts.

If a school district chooses to have an SRO program, the district, by the beginning of the 2020-21 school year, must confirm that every SRO in the district has received training on 12 specified topics, examples of which include:

Agreements between School Districts and Local Law Enforcement Agencies.

School districts with an SRO program must annually review and adopt an agreement with the local law enforcement agency. The agreement review and adoption process must involve parents, students, and community members. At a minimum, the agreement must include:

School Resource Officer Grant Program.

The OSPI, subject to specific legislative funding provisions, must establish and implement a grant program to fund training for SROs on the 12 specified topics. The training may be:

The OSPI must submit a report on the grant program to the Governor and appropriate committees of the Legislature each year the grant program is funded. The report is due each December 1.

Appropriation: None.

Fiscal Note: Available.

Effective Date: The bill takes effect 90 days after adjournment of the session in which the bill is passed.