NEW JERSEY STRONG news – NJOHSP reports 9.30.2019 WASHINGTON, DC – Director Jared M. Maples of the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness (NJOHSP) testified before the US House of Representatives Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Recovery in Washington, DC, on September 26 to discuss progress in State efforts to secure schools.

The hearing, “Engaging the Community: Perspectives on School Security,” provided updates on a variety of measures and initiatives by NJOHSP and its partners to protect students and staff throughout New Jersey.

“Like many Americans, I am heartbroken by the alarming cycle of violent acts taking place in our nation’s schools. My subcommittee’s hearing was an opportunity for stakeholders, like the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness, to discuss ongoing challenges in school safety and provide critical feedback to Congress,” said US Representative Donald M. Payne Jr. (NJ-10). “I appreciate Director Maples’ testimony before the subcommittee, as it gave Congress a better understanding of the complex challenges our state faces in protecting New Jerseyans. I look forward to continuing to work with Director Maples to ensure that New Jersey’s students can focus on being students.”

NJOHSP continues to pursue innovative efforts through measures, such as training school personnel—including administrators, faculty, school resource officers, custodians, and bus drivers—and the community as a whole on how to recognize and report suspicious activity.

“The safety of our children and those charged with their care are paramount,” said Jared M. Maples, Director of the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness. “We must do all that is necessary to provide students and staff with a sense of comfort and security in their learning environments, and parents and guardians deserve the peace of mind that their children will return to them at the end of the school day. Governor Murphy’s administration remains committed to combining all State resources to continue achieving that goal.”

Expanding security capabilities is an ongoing focus, with particular attention paid to mass gatherings; understanding common vulnerabilities of these areas and events where large numbers of people gather; and ensuring that everyone, including schoolchildren, know what actions to take if they face emergency situations.

Kathy Martinez-Prather, Director of the Texas School Safety Center; Lauren Hogg, survivor of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida, and co-founder of March For Our Lives; and Max Schachter, father of slain Parkland victim Alex Schachter, also testified before the Subcommittee.

Please click here to watch a recorded video of the full testimony.

For more information, please contact NJOHSP’s Communications Team at communications@njohsp.gov.