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The New Jersey Task Force on School Security will conduct meetings throughout the state next week to hear public testimony as it gathers information for its report to the Governor and the Legislature.

Those meetings include a public hearing Wednesday, January 14th from 6:30-8:30pm in the Campus Center Theater At Richard Stockton College in Galloway.

The task force comprising education administrators and security professionals was established by the Legislature to "study and develop recommendations to improve school security and safety, and to ensure a safe learning environment for students and school employees."

With input from the public, the task force has been charged by statute with examining matters related to school security. Some topics under consideration include, but are not limited to: entrance screening systems; assignment of police officers in school buildings; improvement of emergency response times; advanced student and visitor ID cards; use of biometric technology for authorized entry; panic alarms; cyber security; periodic patrols by law enforcement; hardening of school perimeters and entryways; emergency communications plans; staff training; and elevated risk factors.

To register for any of the meetings or for more information, email School.security@doe.state.nj.us. Due to time constraints and the wide-ranging possibility of topics of concern, public comment will be limited to three minutes, with no provision for question and answer. Members of the public who would like to present oral testimony related to the task force's charge will be accepted on a first-come-first-served basis.

Comments and suggestions may also be provided to the task force through January 23, 2015 via email at School.security@doe.state.nj.us or by postal mail at: NJ School Security Task Force, c/o Office of Fiscal Accountability, New Jersey Department of Education, PO Box 500, Trenton, NJ 08625-0500.

The testimony received will be used as the task force creates a final report to submit to the Governor, the Legislature and State Board of Education.