(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Ralph Caputo (D-Essex) requiring public elementary and secondary schools in New Jersey be equipped with a panic alarm and red emergency light for use in a school security emergency was approved Monday by an Assembly panel.
“Time is of the essence when it comes to school security emergencies,” said Caputo. “Directly linking a panic alarm to local law enforcement authorities to enable them to respond quicker is common sense. It’s commonplace technology and something that should be done to better protect our children.”
The bill (A-3691) defines a panic alarm as a silent security system signal that can be manually activated to signal a life-threatening or emergency situation that requires a response from law enforcement. The alarm would not be audible inside the school facility, and would be in addition to – not replace – existing security systems.
Besides the panic alarm, the bill requires all public and secondary schools be equipped with a red emergency light that is affixed to the exterior of the school building in a highly visible location above or near the front entrance. The light would be linked to the school’s panic alarm so that it turns on when the alarm is activated.
“These are simple steps we can take to bolster school security and prompt an even quicker response from law enforcement,” Caputo said. “Anything we can do to make our children safer is quite simply the right thing to do.”
The bill was released by the Assembly Education Committee.