NJ law to require alarm systems between public school and police

New Jersey statehouse
Photo credit Dreamstime
By KYW Newsradio 1060
TRENTON, N.J. (KYW Newsradio) — A new law in New Jersey requires every public school in the state to be equipped with a "panic alarm" that could summon local police in the event of a security breach.

Many schools have them now. All will by the fall, according to the main sponsor of the legislation, North Jersey Assemblyman Ralph Caputo.

"Every school is different. Every community is different," Caputo, D-Belleville, said. "So the logistics will depend upon the configuration of that building."

It’ll cost at least $5 million to set this up, but voters approved a statewide bond issue to improve school security last November. So it's paid for.

"Our children deserve to have a safe place to learn, and our teachers deserve to have that," Caputo added, "and this is just one way of making a common sense approach to a very difficult situation."

The measure, dubbed "Alyssa's Law," remembers a North Jersey girl whose family moved to South Florida. Alyssa Alhadeff was one of the 17 people killed in a mass shooting carried out by a former student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, last year.

Caputo says he’s tried to get the legislation passed for six years. Unfortunately, it took the Parkland shooting to garner the unanimous support this bill got.