More than 8 in 10 NJ Districts Upgraded Security in Wake of Sandy Hook Tragedy

Survey recommends schools hire resource officers.

A New Jersey School Boards Association survey of local school officials shows that 85% of the state’s districts have adopted new security measures since Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn., in December 2012.

The measures include adding cameras, hiring security and making building changes, according to the report titled “What Makes School Safe?” The study was done in 2013 with 273 school board presidents and business administrators taking part in the survey, according to North New Jersey.com.

The study also asked how many schools have added security personnel. Non-police security are used in 19% of the schools, while 17%  use retired police officers, and 2% employ part-time police who are paid less and don’t have training to work in schools.

Highlights of the report include:

  • Two-thirds of the schools have made technology improvements, adding surveillance cameras and upgrading electronic access systems.
  • About 45% of the schools completed physical changes, safeguarding windows and doors and changing outside landscape.
  • A little less than 19% have started using emergency alert systems.
  • 31% added perimeter patrols.

The task force recommends schools conduct tabletop exercises with emergency first responders. These would supplement current full drills. The study also asks the federal government to increase grants to hire school resource officers.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

 

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