(a) Established.–There is a Maryland Center for School Safety.
(b) Status.–The Center is an independent unit within the Department.
(c) Location.–The Center shall be based at the Maryland Coordination and Analysis Center.
(d) Executive director.–The head of the Center is the executive director, who shall be appointed by the Subcabinet.
(e) Staff.–The Center may employ the additional staff necessary to carry out the Center's functions as provided in the State budget.
(f) Satellite offices.–The Center shall establish a satellite office at Bowie State University.
(g) Functions and duties.–The Center shall perform the following functions and duties:
(1) Provide technical assistance and consultation to local school systems, State and local government, and community organizations on best practices for safe schools and violence prevention;
(2) Develop a website containing a searchable database of definitive research, books, videos, white papers, speakers, websites, and other school safety resources;
(3) Develop criteria that may be applied consistently and uniformly in local school systems for coding unsafe incidents and serious or violent offenses;
(4) Research and recommend the use of common assessment tools to be used to identify specific problems and needs of schools and neighborhoods to facilitate intervention before assessed findings become problematic;
(5) Assist local school systems to conduct a thorough assessment of their school safety data, school building layouts, and use of human resources for monitoring purposes to determine the need for:
(i) Surveillance and other security technology; and
(ii) Innovations to maximize the use of human resources to monitor activity and influence positive relationship building;
(6) Maintain and maximize relationships with emergency responders, law enforcement personnel, parents, and other emergency preparedness stakeholders to ensure seamless execution in an emergency event, including:
(i) Consolidate resources among stakeholders to maximize support and secure necessary skills to ensure emergency plan implementation;
(ii) Conduct collaborative training and preparation exercises; and
(iii) Identify improvements and ensure nonduplication of effort in emergency response procedures;
(7) Provide safety information on traveling to and from school to parents and students twice a year that includes data related to bus and pedestrian safety, strategies for ensuring personal safety, efforts of the local school system or school to improve safety, and information on the available options for reporting incidents or concerns;
(8) Utilize and update an existing clearinghouse of law enforcement resources that are available to support school safety to ensure that it includes information regarding the purpose and process for accessing available funding;
(9) Assist local school systems to improve and monitor traffic control measures in the immediate vicinity of schools to reduce the potential for pedestrian and vehicle accidents;
(10) Assist the Department to evaluate and update current data systems to ensure they are best suited for providing useful information on school safety issues;
(11) Assist local school systems to monitor local school system and individual school behavior data to ensure fairness in the application of consequences for student misbehavior;
(12) Assist the Department and local school systems:
(i) To prepare an annual report that combines multiple school safety data systems into one format for public review; and
(ii) To incorporate new data points into existing data collection systems;
(13) Assist in the development of safety and security criteria for the design and operation of school facilities;
(14) Assist local school systems to identify resources and implement training for students and parents about relationship violence, identifying the signs of unhealthy relationships, and preventing relationship violence;
(15) Provide technical assistance to local school systems in the review of safety and security audits and the implementation of improvements in school facilities;
(16) Analyze data on school resource officers and develop guidelines and training for local school systems as required under § 7-1508 of this subtitle;
(17) Certify school safety coordinators as required under § 7-1508 of this subtitle;
(18) Submit to the General Assembly and the Governor a summary of reports on school resource officer and local law enforcement agency coverage in public schools as required under § 7-1508 of this subtitle;
(19) Consult with local school systems on safety evaluations developed under § 7-1510 of this subtitle;
(20) Review and comment on school emergency plans developed under § 7-1510 of this subtitle; and
(21) Report to the General Assembly and the Governor on life-threatening incidents as required under § 7-1510 of this subtitle.