The School Safety Advocacy Council has recognized the New Providence School District and the New Providence Police Department for their achievements in school safety by selecting them as a winner of the prestigious Exemplary School Safety Program Award.9 The school district and police department won the award for "working together to have a positive impact on the schools and community."
Over the years, the unique relationship between the New Providence School District and the New Providence Police Department has grown and both agencies have seen the benefits of working collaboratively. The Chief of Police and the Superintendent of Schools have developed a solid working relationship, further strengthening the program. These two agencies routinely share their expertise and knowledge, and make decisions jointly. As situations arise, they communicate with each other, regardless of the time of day, to discuss the benefits and risks of any action plans prior to making final decisions. School and police personnel have also educated each other on their myriad roles and expectations. As a result, they have developed trust and respect, delineated duties and responsibilities, and created successful programs. Both agencies are continuall y striving to ensure that the schools remain safe and conducive to learning. Their mutual support, positive working relationships, and commitment to excellence have resulted in an exemplary school safety program.
"We are all very proud of the outstanding work by both our school district and our police department. Our children and our community are safer as a result of their hard work and commitment to excellence. They serve as a shining example of how working together toward a common goal can benefit the community at large," said Mayor John A. Thoms. "While, like any town, we hope that we are never faced with a school-crisis situation, we also realize that we must be prepared and ready. By building a strong working relationship between the school district and the police department, New Providence has succeeded in developing an outstanding school safety program."
The award was one of nine exemplary school safety programs recognized with awards at the National School Safety Conference on July 27, 2010. The New Providence Police Department and New Providence School District were the only collaborative agencies to receive the award jointly. The National School Safety Conference is a joint effort by the School Safety Advocacy Council, the United States Department of Justice, and Penn State University.