The New Jersey Senate has passed bipartisan legislation sponsored by Senators Anthony Bucco and Joseph Lagana to provide New Jersey law enforcement with the resources they need to protect local schools.
Bipartisan legislation sponsored by Sens. Anthony Bucco and Joseph Lagana would give law enforcement the resources they need to protect NJ schools. (Wikimedia)
Their bill, S-2676, would require school boards to provide law enforcement with copies of blue prints and maps of schools and school grounds.
“When an unimaginable threat approaches a classroom door, there is no time to waste. Law enforcement officials shouldn’t have to scramble for information, when minutes could mean the difference between a life saved and a life lost,” Senator Bucco (R-Morris, Somerset) said. “There is nothing more important than the safety and security of our children. By providing access to school blue prints ahead of time, we can ensure that local police are prepared to protect our teachers and students from harm.”
“In an emergency situation, it may be crucial to the safety of students and teachers that responding law enforcement know the layout of the school they are entering,” said Senator Lagana (D-Bergen, Passaic). “Whether there is an active shooter or an individual who needs immediate medical attention, having access to the blueprints of the school and being able to take the most strategic route to the situation could be the difference between life and death.”
Current State Board of Education regulations require all school districts to have a memorandum of agreements with law enforcement authorities.
This bipartisan bill, S-2676, would direct a board of education and chief school administrator of a nonpublic school to provide revised copies to law enforcement whenever there is a change to the blueprints or maps.
The lawmakers noted that having access to current blueprints for local schools and school grounds will provide police with critical information and help them to make decisions in events, such as an active shooter situation.
The Senate also passed an expansion of a 2016 law sponsored by Senator Anthony Bucco creating “class three officers.” Class three officers are retired-in-good standing law enforcement officials who provide security at New Jersey schools.
Senator Bucco’s bill, S-3245, expands the definition of class three officers to include retired officers who have served in federal or bi-state agencies, such as the Port Authority.
“Creating a special class of law enforcement officers to protect schools Statewide is one of the most innovative and effective school security policies we have advanced in recent years,” Senator Bucco said. “By opening up these positions to a broader range of law enforcement officials, we can ensure that school officials can choose from a large enough pool of candidates who are uniquely qualified to meet their security needs.”
Related Facebook Post: