Westfield Mayor, Board of Education President Issue Statement on School Security

Credits: Jackie Lieberman

WESTFIELD, NJ — Mayor Shelley Brindle and Board of Education President Gretchan Ohlig issued a joint statement Friday afternoon regarding school security:

“In the wake of the tragic events in Parkland, Florida last week, we wanted to take this opportunity to let the community know that the town and school administrations have been in steady communication about school safety,” they wrote. “Unfortunately, the discussions prompted by school shootings are not a new event.  As public officials, and more importantly as parents of kids in our public schools, we share your worry and concerns.

“To provide some reassurance, we want to make sure you are aware of many of the security procedures that have been put in place over the past six years. Working closely with StoneGate Associates, experts in safety management systems in schools and health facilities, the Westfield Public School District has invested over $6 million in implementing and enhancing safety measures in our 10 school buildings to keep our students and staff safe. All buildings are equipped with security cameras, intercom systems and panic alarms as well as updated fire alarms and public address systems.  Additionally, the district’s Emergency Management Committee and StoneGate meet regularly throughout the year to train staff and continuously review existing safety measures.

Sign Up for E-News

“In the past week, StoneGate, the Emergency Management Committee, the Westfield Police Department, building principals and district administrators have met a number of times.  Mayor Shelley Brindle and Town Administrator Jim Gildea also met with the school district’s Superintendent Margaret Dolan and Business Administrator Dana Sullivan along with Gretchan Ohlig and Peggy Oster, the president and vice president of the board of education, to talk about the continued critical coordination between schools, the town and the police,  and to establish enhanced communication protocols between the town council and the board of education.

“School safety is a top priority for all of our school district and town officials. We recognize that it is an ongoing process and are committed to consistently working together to improve and supplement our practices.  Every effort is made to communicate with parents of students located at a school in the midst of a crisis as soon as verified information is made available.  At times, best practices limit the security details that can be shared, which may seem frustrating in times of crisis but rest assured it is done for the safety of our students.

“In order to give the public the opportunity to hear firsthand about existing school safety measures, we have invited StoneGate to make a presentation at the board of education meeting on Tuesday, February 27.  The meeting will be held at 302 Elm Street and begins at 7:30 p.m. The meeting also will be recorded and posted to the school district website for those unable to be there.

“As always, we welcome your input and feedback.

“Thank you.”

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Union Man Sentenced to 25 Years for Fatally Stabbing Father

March 19, 2018

UNION, NJ – The Union man accused of stabbing his father to death and setting the home on fire last May has been sentenced to 25 years in state prison, announced acting Union County Prosecutor Michael A. Monahan on Monday.

Jeffrey Adams, 21, must serve at least 85 percent of that term before the possibility of parole, in accordance with New Jersey’s No Early Release Act, under the ...

Mayor Brindle’s Update, Feb. 13

March 14, 2018

The following are highlights from the update that Mayor Shelley Brindle gave at Tuesday night’s town council meeting.

Last week’s back to back nor’easters left a wave of destruction that Westfield hasn’t experienced since Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Three thousand homes lost power. Over 40 roads were closed due to downed wires and/or trees. Our police responded to ...

Upcoming Events


Fri, March 23, 12:00 PM

Resolve, Scotch Plains

Free Teen Anxiety Group (Ages 14-17) at Resolve

Sat, March 24, 10:00 AM

Burent Middle School , Union

Union County Wide - March for Our Lives

Government Law & Justice


Sun, March 25, 11:00 AM

Shackamaxon Country Club, Scotch Plains

Hear Our Voices: MemoryCare Plays

Health & Wellness

Westfield Police Blotter: DWI, Reported Fraud & More

March 14, 2018

March 7, 2018 2:06 a.m.

Carlos C. Mendoza, age 33, of Garwood, NJ, was arrested on the strength of three Westfield Municipal Court warrants ($750) pursuant to a traffic stop in the area of South Avenue in Scotch Plains. Subject was transported to Westfield Police HQ where he was processed and refused after posting bail.


March 9, 2018 2:09 p.m.

A resident of Sandra Circle ...

Christopher Dean Band to Play at Westfield Memorial Library

March 19, 2018

The Christopher Dean Band will play at the Westfield Memorial Library on Wednesday, April 4 at 7:00 p.m. The library is located at 550 East Broad Street.

The Christopher Dean Band is a regional blues/soul band based out of the Central New Jersey area, working up and down the East coast year round. Christopher Dean fronts the group, playing guitar and singing lead vocals.

Dean, who was ...

Gratitude Goes to the Girls! Mindful Monday Series - # 1

March 19, 2018

I am thrilled to launch our first edition of "Mindful Mondays" today!  Why Mindful Mondays? After several years of working with individuals in a variety of settings, many have asked me: "What's all this mindfulness about anyway?"  I often respond with, "It's different for everyone," but in general I begin with this definition ...

16 Homes Sold Last Week in Westfield, Scotch Plains, Fanwood, Mountainside & Cranford

Sixteen homes sold last week, March 11 to March 18, 2018, in Westfield, Scotch Plains, Fanwood, Mountainside and Cranford:*


TOWN        ADDRESS                  STYLE           RMS    ...

Charitable Spirit Alive and Well in Westfield Public Schools

Students, staff and parents in Westfield Public Schools continue the district’s long tradition of helping others both in and outside of the community, with a number of students recently recognized for their efforts.

Fifteen Westfield High School juniors and sophomores were honored by the Community Food Bank of New Jersey for collecting more than 5,000 pounds of food items for families in ...


AtlantiCast: Episode 13

On this episode of AtlantiCast, new clinical studies in the fields of cardiology and immunotherapy, national and statewide recognitions for Atlantic Health System medical centers and the inaugural AtlantiCast Collab Challenge!


The Day After

Some years ago, the United Nations held the International Summit on Sustainable Development, here in Johannesburg. The Summit was a great success. One wonders, though, whether all the wonderful decisions and resolutions that were adopted were ever implemented. In other words, were they themselves sustainable?

Good ideas and worthwhile projects are suggested regularly. The question is, do they ...

'Trying' explores age, youth and points of history in poignant production

‘Trying’ explores youth, age and points of history in poignant production

By Liz Keill

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – The George Street Playhouse presents an engrossing, two-character play based on the real life of Francis Biddle, former Attorney General.

Biddle, a Harvard educated lawyer, served under Franklin Roosevelt and later Harry Truman during the Nuremberg Tribunal. His ...

Profit from Recent Volatility with Stock Market Bargains

Markets retreated in February, the worst down month in two years. A record surge in volatility caused several ETFs designed as leveraged bets on low volatility to plunge, with at least one being forced to liquidate and hand its investors a near total loss.

The Causes of February’s Market Retreat

The initial catalyst for the sell off was inflation. The January jobs report showed ...


Kathleen Marie Christian (nee Helmstetter), age 73 of Surf City, NJ, passed away peacefully at home ...
Read more

Suspended Hillsborough HS Athletic Director Charged with Theft

March 19, 2018

HILLSBOROUGH, NJ — Suspended Hillsborough High School Athletic Director Michael Fanizzi has been arrested and charged with the theft of $10,704 in athletic event receipts over a four-year period from 2013-2017, according to Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson.

Fanizzi, 53, a resident of Conover Way in Hillsborough who had been athletics director for 14 years, had been ...