School, Police Officials Meet To Discuss Safety During Shootings

Officials met to discuss school safety: (from left) Pine Beach Police Chief Matthew Petrecca,  Toms River Police Chief Mitch Little, South Toms River Police Chief Andrew Izatt, South Toms River Sgt. William Kosh, Toms River Superintendent David Healy, Beachwood Police Chief Robert Tapp; Ocean County Prosecutor's Office Chief of County Detectives Glenn M. Miller, Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato, Toms River assistant superintendent Marc Natanagara. (Photo courtesy of Toms River Regional Schools)

TOMS RIVER – School and police officials met to discuss safety concerns after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

Police officials from Toms River, Pine Beach, South Toms River, Beachwood, and the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office met with school district officials, according to a press release. Pine Beach, South Toms River, and Beachwood all have elementary schools that are part of the Toms River Regional School District.

“School safety is a constant conversation at Toms River Regional Schools,” Superintendent David Healy said.

The officials discussed how to improve upon security already in place and how to strengthen communication.

Realistically, all the planning in the world might not be enough to stop an act of random violence, officials said. However, there are ways to make the everyone safer. Toms River schools have a number of drills throughout the year, keep doors locked with a speaker to address someone who wants to come in, and communicating emergency plans with emergency workers.

“I’ve observed firsthand how our children and staff react to school emergencies and/or drills,” said Healy. “I am always reassured and impressed by the steadfast adherence to the procedures that we have all trained for on multiple occasions and the responsiveness of our local law enforcement agencies.”

“These meetings highlight the outstanding cooperation between Ocean County Schools and law enforcement,” Prosecutor Joseph Coronato said. “Beyond the implementation of past security initiatives, they have produced immediate additional measures in the wake of the tragic Parkland shootings. Moving forward, our continued conversations will explore both short and long term initiatives to continually strengthen school safety.”

For more information about school safety, contact Toms River Regional Schools at 732-505-5500.