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Gottheimer, Murphy, Lagana announce new federal investment for school safety, security technology

$6.5 Million in American Rescue Plan Funds Will Further Strengthen Efforts to Protect Students and Teachers

NEW JERSEY — U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) Tuesday, along with Governor Phil Murphy, State Senator Joe Lagana, local officials, educators, and law enforcement, announced a new federal investment clawed back from the American Rescue Plan to help improve school safety and security, and provide our law enforcement with the resources they need to keep children and educators safe.

This new statewide school security investment will ensure that law enforcement has immediately accessible digital blueprints of every New Jersey K-12 school building to help them act swiftly and protect our schools, educators, and children if there is an active shooter situation, attack, or emergency.

This technology will help law enforcement act quickly and decisively.

These new resources will not only keep our communities, families, and brave first responders safe, but will also help lower our property taxes and make life more affordable for North Jersey residents.

Since 2018, from Parkland to Uvalde, there have been 119 shootings in K-12 schools, resulting in a death or injury. Scores of children and teachers have died. As we saw in Uvalde, TX, every second counts during an active shooter situation, and knowing how to get in and out of a school building, as well as the pressure points, doors, and vent shafts, can be the difference between life and death.

This new federal investment was made possible by the American Rescue Plan that Congress passed last year.

“This new school security investment will ensure that law enforcement has immediately accessible digital blueprints of every school building in the state, God forbid there is an active shooter situation or other attack. This technology will help law enforcement act quickly and decisively,” Gottheimer said. “And this new investment was made possible by the federal American Rescue Plan that Congress passed last year. It’s hard to think of a better use of these federal resources than to ensure we’re protecting our schools, educators, and children by giving our law enforcement the resources they need to keep them safe.”

“With the epidemic of gun violence reaching every part of our communities, including our schools, we offer our families not empty promises, but concrete investments in tools and resources that will keep our students safe,” Murphy said. “Nothing is more important than the safety of our children and the educators who help our children achieve their full potential. In order to protect our children and educators, we must equip our first responders with the most up-to-date 21st-century technology so that they can respond to emergencies without unnecessary delay.”

“Given the rise in school shootings around the country, it is paramount that, in addition to having among the strongest gun safety laws in the nation and bolstering mental health services, we also do all we can to protect our students through providing law enforcement and first responders with every available tool that could help save lives,” Lagana said. “Access to digital floor plans, will better prepare local law enforcement and first responders in the case of any emergency situation. I would like to thank the Governor for pushing this initiative forward and better ensuring the safety and security of our State’s students.”

Gottheimer’s work to keep North Jersey schools safe includes the following:

  • Gottheimer helped pass critical, lifesaving gun legislation — the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act — the first major federal gun safety legislation signed into law in decades.
  • Gottheimer introduced the bipartisan ALYSSA Act, named after Alyssa Alhadeff, who was originally from North Jersey, and who lost her life at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida — to require schools nationwide to have silent alarms and to support trained school resource officers. In New Jersey, Alyssa’s Law requires that all Jersey public schools install silent panic alarms.
  • Cosponsorred H.R.8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act, to close the Gun Show Loophole by expanding background checks.
  • Cosponsoring and helping pass the Enhanced Background Checks Act in the House to close the Charleston Loophole that allows a firearm sale to proceed even if the FBI has not yet completed a background check.
  • Since 2016, the Fifth District is now up 357% in federal tax dollars Gottheimer helped claw back to Jersey from Washington — helping to protect our families, children, and first responders and lower our property taxes. In 2021 alone, the Gottheimer helped claw back more than $750 for every single North Jersey household, dollars going back into the pockets of our hardworking families when they need them most — to help firefighters put out a blaze, help law enforcement protect us from terror and crime, better secure our parochial schools, churches, temples, and mosques, and protect our children and communities.
  • This year, Gottheimer introduced the bipartisan, bicameral Invest to Protect Act — which will make critical, targeted investments in recruiting and retaining the best talent, training, safety, body cameras, and for the mental health of our officers.

Gottheimer was joined at East Brook Middle School in Paramus by Governor Phil Murphy, New Jersey State Senator Joe Lagana, Paramus Mayor Rich LaBarbiera, East Brook Middle School Principal Ryan Aupperlee, Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco, NJ Office of Homeland and Security Preparedness Director Laurie Doran, and local law enforcement.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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