SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD, NJ -- Today the Township of Scotch Plains, Borough of Fanwood and Scotch Plains-Fanwood Board of Education issued a joint statement on school safety.

We recognize that safety is on everyone’s minds these days, especially the safety of our young people. With yet another horrific school shooting, particular questions are raised about school security. As public officials, we share your concerns.

Please know that both the Scotch Plains Police Department and the Fanwood Police Department are active partners with the Scotch Plains-Fanwood Public Schools. The police departments’ inter-agency coordination benefits our students as representatives from our police departments frequently patrol the interior and exterior of all our schools (both public and private). This enables law enforcement to know our school buildings, which supports their ability to rapidly respond to emergencies. In addition, our police departments work collaboratively with school personnel on planning, developing procedures, conducting security assessments, and reviewing best practices for school safety. Our police departments receive the appropriate training and have the resources to deal with school emergencies, and they share updated practices with our schools.

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The Office of Emergency Management in Scotch Plains also supports school security efforts and monitors school security drills. Our schools and our towns benefit from a Shared Services partnership. Representatives from the Township of Scotch Plains, the Borough of Fanwood and the Board of Education meet monthly to discuss how combined efforts can improve our communities and address mutual concerns.

While there are no specific threats to schools in our towns at this time, we have intensified current security efforts. In the wake of the tragedy in Parkland, Florida, representatives from the Scotch Plains-Fanwood Board of Education, the Township of Scotch Plains and the Borough of Fanwood met to review how we can improve security in our schools. While all of our school buildings have seen improvements in school security systems in recent years and training is on-going, we know that school security is an area that continually evolves. Best practices limit the security details that can be shared, but we are committed to improving security protocols and resources. Looking to the future, we will continue to evaluate and refine our existing policies and procedures regarding school safety.

We encourage you to share your thoughts and suggestions with us at:

schoolsecurity@spfk12.org

As community members, we can all support this effort. The familiar reminder “If you see something, say something” reflects the importance of reporting if you hear or learn of anything that threatens the security and safety of our schools. Working together as parents, students, teachers, staff and community members, we can be proactive in this vital effort. Thank you.

Nancy Bauer, President, Scotch Plains-Fanwood Board of Education
Al Smith, Mayor, Township of Scotch Plains
Colleen Mahr, Mayor, Borough of Fanwood