Boxer Wants National Guard to Aid in School Security

By Patrick Burke | December 19, 2012 | 11:56 AM EST

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) (AP Photo)

( -- Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) wants to give “100 percent flexibility” to state governors to utilize National Guard troops in helping local law enforcement with school security.

She added that flexibility for governors to use National Guard troops is important because she doesn’t “have any idea of what they would need.”

“It’s really up to the governors. I don’t have any idea of what they would need,” Boxer said at a Capitol Hill press conference on Wednesday.  “And so that’s why this is so good that we give them in this legislation 100 percent flexibility. If they think they want to have the help of the National Guard, they can get it.”

According to Boxer, examples of ways in which National Guard troops would help local police include doing desk work so police officers can go protect schools and advising on ways to improve physical security at schools.

“We would like to have, I’m just making up a number, two [police] officers at every school but all of our officers are tied up and we think if the Natonal Guard could help us relieve some of the officers with some desk work, you could put them to work there,” she said.  “Maybe doing dispatch or something where they’re not out there, and we can put two more officers at the schools. That’s one example.”

“But it could be either to relieve their police officers to get them out or it could be to do some capital improvements and build those capital improvements,” she said.

Boxer pointed out that state governors already have the power to use the National Guard for purposes they see fit, but her legislation would provide federal funding to governors who would like to use Guard troops for school security.

In this respect, the bill -- the Save Our Schools Act (SOS) -- mirrors that of the 1989 program that allows federal funding for the National Guard to help with drug interdiction.

“Under this law, the governors can apply and, when approved, they can get 100 percent of their plan paid for and that’s why it’s so critical,” Boxer said.

In addition to the SOS, Boxer introduced the School Safety Enhancements Act, which would provide supplementary federal funding to security enhancement measures at schools.