New Jersey

The New Jersey Department of Education School Preparedness and Emergency Planning 

The New Jersey Department of Education takes proactive measures to protect the safety and security of all our students and staff members. Through the Department’s Office of School Preparedness & Emergency Planning (OSPEP) the goal is to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the school population by providing direct support to New Jersey’s schools in establishing safe and secure school environments and increasing their capacity to respond in the event of crises.

The unit provides support to district and school leaders in assisting with the establishment and maintenance of a school safety and security plan that addresses all hazards and follows the phases of crisis management planning – mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. To achieve these goals, the staff of the OSPEP works in conjunction with the New Jersey State Police, New Jersey Domestic Security Preparedness Task Force, and the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness.

Through the OSPEP, the NJDOE is committed to providing information and assistance to both public and nonpublic schools on topics such as: site-specific vulnerability assessments, crisis response, contingency and continuity plans, target hardening, mitigation measures and communication protocols.

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The New Jersey Department of Education Keeping Our Kids Safe, Healthy, and In School

The New Jersey Department of Education has been providing leadership to New Jersey schools in the implementation of high-quality programs and services towards developing and maintaining safe and positive learning environments for students and staff.

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New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness

The New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness (NJOHSP) leads and coordinates New Jersey’s counterterrorism, cybersecurity, and preparedness efforts while building resiliency throughout the State.

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New Jersey School Safety Legislation

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.

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