A bill that would ensure the colleges and universities have plans in place to address on-campus emergencies such as a violent attacks or disease pandemics has been released by the Assembly Higher Education Committee in New Jersey.
The measure, A-2405, was sponsored by New Jersey Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt, and would require schools to file with state homeland security and higher education officials comprehensive five-year campus security plans that identify a baseline of preparedness for all potential emergencies. It would require security protocols to spell out a clear delegation of authority and lines of administrative succession, identify and provide for the protection of vital records and spell-out procedures for periodic tests.
A security plan would undergo an immediate review in the event of an on-campus incident. State homeland security and higher education officials also would be authorized to work directly with a school and other agencies to augment any areas of a plan they find to be deficient.
The measure builds upon the work of the New Jersey Campus Security Task Force created following the April 2007 massacre at Virginia Tech to recommend ways for New Jersey's colleges and universities to enhance on-campus safety.
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Schools, businesses and enterprises across the world have experienced a paradigm shift since the terrorist attacks on Paris and Belgium. As active shooters and terrorists get more creative in choosing and evaluating softer targets, security leaders are striving to keep their enterprises safe and alert without damaging the culture.