Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office

                                 25 Kirkpatrick Street, 3rd Floor, New Brunswick, New Jersey, 08901 (732) 745-3300


                                *News Release*          Date: May 19, 2009  





Educators, law enforcement, meet for school safety seminar



          Before bringing weapons to school and attacking classmates, administrators or teachers, disgruntled students give a number of warnings that suggest they may be on the brink of deadly behavior.


But the warnings can go unnoticed unless educators, law enforcement officers and parents learn how to recognize troubled students before they spin out of control.


That was the message offered today to more than 200 educators and police officers who attended the Threat Assessment/School Violence Program, a seminar that provided useful ways of recognizing and preventing school violence.


Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce J. Kaplan and Freeholder Mildred S. Scott called the training session an important step in keeping Middlesex County’s students safe.


          ‘’As elected officials, my Freeholder colleagues and I are committed to doing what we can to ensure the safety and well-being of all our residents,” Freeholder Scott said.


‘’But it is as a mother and grandmother that I say we must find ways to protect our children. Elected officials, law enforcement personnel and educators all have the responsibility to keep our schools safe. By working together, we have a much stronger chance of doing so. I thank you for attending today’s event and for your continued commitment to our students,’’ said Freeholder Scott, who is chair of the Freeholders’ Law and Public Safety Committee.


          The program, held at Middlesex County College in Edison, offered valuable information from professionals trained in assessing potential threats to school children.


A key presentation was made by the U.S. Secret Service’s National Threat Assessment Center, which created the program after developing and analyzing information about the behavior and thinking of students who commit acts of targeted violence in our nation’s schools.


In addition, Steven Healy, director of public safety at Princeton University, talked about violence on college campuses. ‘’If you continue to believe that these threats can’t happen here, then you are doing a huge disservice to your community,’’ Healy told the audience.


Members of law enforcement from throughout the state, as well as educators and administrators from public schools and colleges in New Jersey, attended the event.


‘’I am very pleased that Middlesex County has taken the initiative to host this important program to help support our school districts in this important area,’’ said Dr. Patrick Piegari, executive superintendent of schools in Middlesex County. ‘’Safety and security is a high priority in Middlesex County.’’


The program was brought to Middlesex County through the efforts of Prosecutor Kaplan’s MORE (Middlesex Out-Reach and Education) Unit, which offers hundreds of safety presentations to schools and community groups in the county every year.


In addition to the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office and the U.S. Secret Service, the program was sponsored by the Middlesex County Superintendent of Schools, Middlesex County College and MAGLOCLEN, a federally-funded regional information sharing system that provides support and resources for law enforcement agencies nationwide.