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School Officials Outline School Safety Plan

Local police have floor plans of every school in New Brunswick loaded into the on-board computers of their cars in the event of an emergency, according to officials.

A report on safety proceedings in the New Brunswick school district highlighted Tuesday's Board of Education meeting at New Brunswick High School.

Superintendent Richard Kaplan said the presentation has been coincidentally in the works for about three weeks, despite being held the Tuesday following Friday's deadly shootings in Connecticut that left 27 people dead at an elementary school, 20 of them children.

Gerard Cappella, Coordinator of Emergency Planning for the district, said each of the district's 14 schools has its own security plan, in addition to an overarching plan for the entire district.

The plans were formed following meetings with school officials, local police, state officials and Homeland Security, which began this past summer, Cappella said.

The district was given 13 safety objectives to meet, which included creating a staff roster, establishing a district chain of command, creating relationships with city first response teams, and first response teams of adjacent communities, compiling reports on the top five hazards of the district, and creating systems of parent and community notification, such as the district's use of Nixle for community bulletins, he said.

Additionally, each classroom is to be provided with an emergency guide, which contains information for teachers on how to handle school lock-downs, shelter-in-place directives and evacuation proceedings.

The floor plans of every district school have been given to the city police, fire and EMS teams, and downloaded into the on-board computers of city police cruisers, Cappella said.

The deadline to meet these 13 objectives is January 2013, and the district will meet that deadline, Cappella said. The overall plan, which is confidential, is still in the works, and will be submitted to the state when ready, he said.

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