Toms River Police, Schools United In School Safety

Photo courtesy Toms River Regional School District

TOMS RIVER – School and local officials have released a joint statement to “offer reassurances about the safety of their school campuses and to encourage vigilance at all times.”

The Feb. 20 release from Toms River Regional Schools and law enforcement agencies is in response to recent school shooting in Parkland, Florida at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, which reportedly left 17 dead and more injured.

“It is paramount that the members of our entire school community continue to proactively work together to ensure a safe school environment and reinforce what we teach our students,” Superintendent David Healy said. “If you see something, say something.”

Proactive measures are in place so schools and law enforcement agencies are prepared and can respond quickly to “incidents that may affect safety, and will continue to make school safety and our children’s welfare our main priority.” Those agencies include Toms River, South Toms River, Pine Beach, and Beachwood Police Departments, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office, and Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office.

“Ocean County schools and law enforcement currently have implemented ‘state of the art’ High Tech School Mapping/Shooter Response Initiatives. Our partnership will continue to aggressively explore, reevaluate and institute proactive measures to restrict school access, protect the safety of our students and assure the security of our schools’ learning environment,” Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato said.

  The district’s 18 schools have safety plans in place, which are reviewed annually. Ongoing drills and simulated emergency exercises are practiced and modified as needed at each school. Students and staff are also instructed to “speak up and report suspicious activity they see at school sites or other district locations.”

“There is no greater partnership than that of Toms River School System and the police departments that support and serve the students, families and staff in our respective communities,” Toms River Police Chief Mitch Little said. “We are continually working together to provide the highest level of safety and security possible.”

Parents or guardians of students with any questions about safety procedures can call the school district at 732-505-5500. Community members can call the Toms River Police Department at 732-349-0150.

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Ocean County native Jennifer Peacock is a community journalist and photographer. She’s written for weekly and daily newspapers in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia for more than 20 years. Readers can contact her at jpeacock@jerseyshoreonline.com.