Rep. John Rutherford (R-Fla.) recently received the 2018 SIA (Security Industry Association) Legislator of the Year Award for his work sponsoring H.R. 4909, the STOP School Violence Act of 2018, which was signed into law in March as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018.
The SIA Legislator of the Year Award is presented once a year to a member of Congress or other elected official who has demonstrated leadership in promoting and ensuring public safety. Rutherford was one of five 2018 recipients.
“I am honored to receive the SIA Legislator of the Year Award,” Rutherford said. “It is important that we work together to equip our schools with the latest technology and train our students, teachers and administrators on how to identify signs of violence, so that we prevent violent acts before they happen. I am thankful for the hard work of groups like SIA and Sandy Hook Promise, who worked side-by-side with us to make this bill a reality.”
The STOP School Violence Act reauthorizes and amends the 2001 Secure Our Schools program through the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance. The legislation authorizes $50 million annually in grants for state and local schools to fund training and other security initiatives and improvements.
“As a 41-year veteran of law enforcement and sheriff of Jacksonville for 12 years, I know firsthand that school security requires a multi-layered approach,” Rutherford said. “That is why I was proud to introduce the STOP School Violence Act, to prevent more tragedies like we have witnessed in Parkland, Florida, and across the country.
“As I used to say during my time in law enforcement, I don’t want to be the best first responder to a mass-casualty event; I want to prevent that horrible act before it ever occurs,” he added. “I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues in Congress to give our states, localities and tribes the resources and training they need to stop violent events before they occur and keep our schools and our communities safe.”