Press Contact: Patrick R. Rigby
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NEWARK, NJ — On Monday, July 9, 2018, Jared Maples, Director of the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness (NJOHSP), spoke about New Jersey’s efforts in combatting school security risks during a hearing held by the US House of Representatives Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Communications at the New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark.
The hearing, “Protecting Our Future: Addressing School Security Challenges in America” was coordinated to address the prevention of further tragedies following recent attacks to high schools across the country.
“By developing partnerships in New Jersey's public, private, and academic sectors, we are able to compile a complete picture of the state's threats and vulnerabilities,” said Jared Maples, Director of the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness. “In the case of school security work remains to be done, but there are people dedicated to getting it right. Prevention and mitigation stand as the two core components of our continued pledge to ensure the safety of the children of our state.”
The State seeks to invest equally in the prevention of these incidents and response tactics to minimize damage. NJOHSP prioritizes identifying suspicious behavior and mental health indicators while ensuring there is a clear path for reporting. NJOHSP continues to take a unified approach among State and federal entities under existing task forces to provide active shooter incident training, including pre-incident indicators and pathways to report those indicators.
The New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) continues to conduct unannounced active shooter drills across the State to test plans in a controlled environment. To that end, colleges and universities throughout New Jersey are participating in a new Mass Gathering Working Group to address these common vulnerabilities and build missing capabilities. NJOHSP is working with the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education, the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management, and the New Jersey Department of Health to review emergency operations plans at every institution of high education, an effort required by New Jersey Directive 2016-7. The State will also expand training models and traditional planning assumptions to address changing tactics and enable deviation from plans as situations dictate.
To view a clip from Director Maple’s Testimony visit: https://www.njohsp.gov/videos
The New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness (NJOHSP), a Cabinet-level agency, was created in 2006. The Director serves as the Governor’s Homeland Security Advisor, and is responsible for leading and coordinating the State’s counterterrorism, cybersecurity, and emergency preparedness efforts while building resiliency throughout the State across all levels of government and the private sector. NJOHSP oversees and distributes discretionary State and federal homeland security and emergency preparedness funds on behalf of New Jersey. More information about NJOHSP can be found at www.njhomelandsecurity.gov.