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About the Legislative Security Officers' Training Program


600 HUNDRED YEARS AGO, KING HENRY V OF ENGLAND... recognized the need for the House of Commons, a legislative body similar to our Commonwealth’s House of Representatives, to have legal status and authority.  He gave to the Speaker of the House of Commons a ceremonial mace, property of the King that would signify to all the subjects of the realm that the legislature too had the authority of the sovereign. 

In the year 1415, a former military officer by the name of Nicholas Maudit was appointed to the position of Sergeant-at-Arms for the House of Commons with responsibilities for safe-guarding the ceremonial mace, maintaining good order in the House of Commons, and protecting the members from interference or intimidation. 

Today there is still a ceremonial mace that is present at all of the official functions of the House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.   And, Nicholas Maudit has his place in history as the first “legislative security officer.” But today, with renewed awareness of the need for Home Land Security, those involved in legislative security have concerns that Mr. Maudit could not have even imagined. 

          Today, as 600 years ago, it is absolutely essential that the legislature be able to conduct its’ business in a safe and secure atmosphere.   Individual members must feel free to do their job without fear of interference or physical jeopardy. And, after the events of recent years we must also recognize the importance of protecting the Institution of the Legislature as a symbol of our liberty and democratic ideals.  

          In 2003 Temple University’s Criminal Justice Training Programs was contracted by the House of Representatives to do a job task/training needs analysis for the Office of Security and Safety of the House of Representatives.  The analysis was conducted in spring of 2003 and a report recommending a three hundred and sixty hour program of basic training was completed.  The first hundred and twenty hours of instruction were delivered by the CJTP training staff during the summer of 2003 and two classes of Legislative Security Officers completed instruction on topics including Facility Security, Control and Defensive Tactics, People with Special Needs, Terrorism Awareness, Crowd Control, and Suspected Explosive Devices among many others.  In January 2006, Temple University delivered a 40-hour basic firearms training program to two classes of Legislative Security Officers.  The training included firearms safety procedures, basic marksmanship, reduced/dim light exercises, shotgun familiarization, and tactical drills. In August 2007, Temple University was contracted to deliver and evaluate a twenty (20) hour professional development program for supervisory staff employed by the Department of Security and Safety. Finally, in April 2008, Temple University was contracted to delivered the 120-hour basic training program to a new recruit class of Legislative Security Officers. 

          This important (and historic) agency—a 16th century legacy—is now receiving 21st  century training and instructional technology that includes multimedia instruction, role playing, and problem solving exercises for the security concerns of today.


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 This page was last updated on 2016-04-04 .