Attorney general, state lawmakers discuss new public protection laws

2013-05-16T16:49:00Z 2013-05-26T16:47:04Z Attorney general, state lawmakers discuss new public protection lawsAnna Ortiz anna.ortiz@nwi.com nwitimes.com
May 16, 2013 4:49 pm  • 

MERRILLVILLE | Indiana legislators discussed new public safety laws that range from school safety to "rolling meth labs" at a news briefing Friday in Merrillville.

Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller, state Rep. Charlie Brown, D-Gary, state Sen. Sue Landske, R-Cedar Lake, and state Sen. Earline Rogers, D-Gary, gathered at the Merrillville Town Complex for the session.

The slew of laws affect the future of school safety, prescription drug abuse, homeowner and consumer protection, professional licensing enforcement and the return of unclaimed property.

One law also addresses the full sale disclosure of vehicles that once were used in illegal mobile meth distribution.

Zoeller said these laws are among the largest number of bills ever passed for the attorney general's office. Out of the 18 bills submitted, 15 of them passed with overwhelming support.

"Lawmakers of both parties and both houses worked collaboratively to tackle complex issues facing Hoosiers," Zoeller said.

The law that stood out to Zoeller is Senate Enrolled Act 1, regarding school resource officers. This allows schools to apply for state matching grants of up to $50,000 to create or expand a police presence in schools.

Senate Enrolled Act 1 had a bumpy journey from bill to law. A week after the bill was put together in December, the Newtown, Conn., shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School occurred.

"When the shooting in Connecticut happened, the focus went to the external threat, the gunman at the door," Zoeller said.

Zoeller said having more police officers in schools will help protect students, address problems within the schools and establish healthy relationships between law enforcement and youths.

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