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Lamberth introduces legislation to strengthen communities, school safety and support victims | #schoolsaftey

Sherry Mitchell

William Lamberth

In advance of a special session scheduled to convene Aug. 21, Tennessee House Majority LeaderWilliam Lamberth,R-Portland, today introduced legislation that will strengthen resources for law enforcement, enhance school safety and support victims of violent crime.

Gov. Bill Lee on Tuesday issued an official proclamation calling for a special session of the Tennessee General Assembly to consider several proposals dealing with public safety and mental health.

 “Our highest priority is to ensure a safer, healthier and more prosperous future for all Tennesseans,” Lamberth said. “In pursuit of that goal, we welcome the opportunity to strengthen public safety and help those dealing with mental illnesses in this upcoming extraordinary session. These proposals will create additional layers of support in critical times when it is needed most.” 

House Bill 7002, requires all public and private Tennessee schools to modernize communications dealing with emergency preparedness. The bill requires schools to develop safety response procedures that distinguish whether an emergency is a fire, inclement weather or an active shooter situation. Teachers, students, staff and district employees must be made aware and trained to respond accordingly to a potential threat. 

House Bill 7003 further strengthens existing legislation passed by the General Assembly in 2021 that allowed victims of violent crime to petition a court for a lifetime order of protection. House Bill 7003 extends lifetime protection for victims of aggravated stalking. The law prohibits convicted offenders from communicating with their victims for life. 

House Bill 7004 requires courts to notify local law enforcement agencies when an individual is released from court-ordered emergency evaluation, treatment or care. The bill improves communication with agencies responsible for transporting individuals to a treatment facility following a judge’s determination that the person was a risk to themselves or others.  

“We have a moral obligation to support our most vulnerable citizens suffering from mental illness, especially those who pose a serious risk to themselves or others,” Lamberth said. “This legislation creates a practical solution that will help law enforcement respond best to individuals in crisis when they’re back home in their communities.”

The 66th Extraordinary Special Session of the Tennessee General Assembly is scheduled to convene Aug. 21 at 4 p.m.

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