NJ Governor Murphy announces state efforts to keep kids safer in schools

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TRENTON, N.J. — Parents may start seeing more state police or local law enforcement in the school halls. Colonel Patrick Callahan told troopers of all ranks to make regular and random school visits to schools beginning this week.

“It’s more than sitting in your car watching the kids get off the bus,” he said. “We want to make it part of the culture of the state police.”

Governor Phil Murphy was joined by Callahan and other members of his cabinet today to talk about what the state can do to keep students and educators safe.

“Nearly one week has passed since 17 innocent lives were taken during the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School,” Governor Murphy said. “Enough is enough. While state actions cannot replace the federal reforms that are needed, student safety comes first in New Jersey.”

Murphy said he is forming an alliance with other governors to put pressure on the federal government to pass stricter gun laws.

In New Jersey, the attorney general will perform a comprehensive review of school safety directives to make sure the state is at the forefront when it comes to school safety. General Gerbir Grewal’s office will also check on reporting systems to make sure no tip of suspicious school activity is missed.

“There were plenty of flags on this kid,” State Senate President Steve Sweeney, referring to the Parkland shooter, “We need to arm everyone with information and knowledge so at the end of day these red flags don’t get missed.”

New Jersey’s Department of Homeland Security plans to expand training on what to look for to bus drivers and educators.

Murphy also pledged to sign legislation to make New Jersey’s gun laws safer, including a bill that would limit those with mental illness from purchasing guns.