New Jersey

In 2018, the Police Foundation staff conducted a comprehensive public domain scan of state legislation from all 50 states and the District of Columbia related to the following aspects of school safety and security:

  • facility security and assessment requirements;
  • creation, and identification of roles and responsibilities for state school safety centers and school safety teams/committees;
  • requirements for school administrators and faculty;
  • allocation of funds for improving school safety and security; and
  • all-hazards emergency planning and preparedness.

The Police Foundation also reviewed legislation and amendments passed by state legislatures and signed into law following the mass violence attacks at schools in Parkland, Florida, and Santa Fe, Texas. Seven states—Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island—officially codified new significant school safety and security laws that address at least one of the aspects mentioned above. The legislative review utilized open source research, and encompasses all legislation that was officially codified by September 11, 2018.

The highlighted states on the map represent examples of states with comprehensive school safety legislation and promising practices.

 

PROMISING PRACTICES

  • Allows for funds in the board of education reserve to finance school improvements and to use funds in the emergency reserve account to fund school security improvements which are limited to safety and security measures involving building monitoring and communication technology (such as security cameras, automatic door-locking systems, badge systems for school employees, and electronic notification systems).
  • Requires certain school security measures to be incorporated in architectural design of new school construction and certain school security measures for existing buildings. For example, new construction must incorporate interior door locks on spaces that will serve as safe havens during lockdowns and that have a keyless locking mechanism, shall be provided with access control systems which allow for remote locking and unlocking of all building access doors, utilize an access control system with remote unlocking features, an intercom, and fixed cameras at the school’s main entrance and for other entrances as funding permits, use surveillance cameras as a target-hardening tool, provide a dedicated server and generator for security systems in order to secure information and ensure efficient operation in an emergency, and use ballistic or shatter resistant film for glass entrance door sidelights and other vulnerable first floor areas.
  • Establishes the New Jersey School Safety Specialist Academy in the Department of Education, to serve as a repository for best practices, training standards, and compliance oversight in all matters regarding school safety. The Academy shall provide professional development and resources on school safety and security and technical assistance and guidance to schools and training for school safety specialists.
  • Requires each superintendent to designate a school administrator as a school safety specialist for the district. The specialist is responsible for the supervision and oversight of all safety and security personnel, policies, and procedures in the district and liaising with relevant local, state, federal, and community partners.
  • Requires school districts with at least one school that is equipped with video surveillance equipment capable of streaming live video to a remote location to enter into an MOU with local law enforcement to allow them access to activate and view the video.
  • Requires every school to have at least one fire and one school security drill each month, including any summer months during which classes are being held.
  • Requires teachers to keep all doors and exits unlocked, except during emergency lockdowns or drills.
  • Requires a law enforcement officer to be present at least one security drill during a school year in order to make recommendations.
  • Requires all full-time employees to be provided with training—conducted collaboratively by the district and emergency responders—on school safety and security that includes instruction on school security drills.

State Of New Jersey

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