After information about Franklin Township, N.J., schools showed up on a computer disk seized in Iraq last fall, counterterrorism officials swept through classrooms, cafeterias, and gymnasiums searching for security vulnerabilities. Acting Gov. Richard J. Codey wants to extend the same level of scrutiny to each of New Jersey’s 26,000 schools. A team of state police experts and local law enforcement officials will visit each school between February and September to review and improve emergency plans.
State Police Lt. Al Della Fave said some schools were well-prepared, while others lagged behind. “For some districts, this is something they just don’t spend much time on. They’re worried about test scores,” he said. The governor “is pinching them, forcing them to go down that road.” Codey announced no extra funding for the security sweep. Ken Trump of Ohio-based National School Safety and Security Services lauded Codey for “having the leadership to acknowledge schools could be terrorist targets.” Trump fears the state might not be equipped to do 26,000 comprehensive security evaluations in such a short period. Two of his employees usually need about two weeks to review 12 schools, he said.