New Jersey schools fine-tuning security measures as opening nears

(ShutterStock)

(ShutterStock)

As schools gear up for reopening, New Jersey districts are increasing the focus on security. 

The 2012 shootings that killed 26 students and staff members at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut are still driving security changes, said Frank Belluscio, deputy executive director of the New Jersey School Boards Association.

“After Newtown, I think the big question was what else do we need to do, and you see school districts making various steps,” he said. “We don’t see any real increase in threat, but we want to do everything possible to ensure the health and safety of our children.”

Security enhancements include new alarm systems and redesigned entranceways, Belluscio said.

“We’re also seeing a trend toward school districts including security upgrades in bond issues,” he said.

Several districts also want to restore the position of school resource officers after federal funding was cut in 2005 for the police officers who are specially trained to work with students and provide counseling.

And some schools have brokered deals with municipalities to split the extra costs, he said.

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