N.J. sets school security agenda

Wednesday, May 4, 2005

Gannett New Jersey

Through a series of security audits and an initiative to create a continuing education course for teachers on school security and emergency management, acting Gov. Richard J. Codey hopes to put New Jersey at the forefront of protecting schools from terroristic threats.

At his New Jersey School Security Summit at Rutgers University on Tuesday, Codey announced these initiatives and discussed the need for a proactive stance on school security.

"Every child deserves a learning environment free of fear and terrorism," Codey told the audience of about 250 people.

"We already see a large number of schools employing police officers, and this may become commonplace," Codey said. "It's unfortunate, but it's a sign of the times."

Codey discussed the state's new security audits of every school. The program, which began last month and will conclude by Labor Day, was designed to ensure that every public, charter and private school is using the checklist of security measures created during his administration.

"We are doing things no other state is doing," Codey said.

Results of the audit will be compiled into a database that will give state officials a picture of security at New Jersey's schools.

Codey also announced his desire to create a comprehensive, continuing education course on school security and emergency management for teachers and other school officials