Glen Rock Police Department - 1 Harding Plaza, Glen Rock, NJ 07452 EMERGENCY: 9-1-1; 201.652.3800; Records Bureau: 201.670.3941

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Wednesday, October 01, 2014

In partnership with the Glen Rock Public Schools and the Academy of Our Lady, the Glen Rock Police Department is committed to promoting a safe and secure environment for students and staff.

The cooperation of each parent is essential in order for our efforts to succeed.Many unfortunate national tragedies at schools throughout the country have given pause to all of us to examine and fortify our efforts on this front. The Glen Rock Police Department plays an active role in the school district's Critical Incident Response Team. Captain Jon Miller has been a member of this team since its inception and continues to work with school and town officials, as well as the law enforcement community, to provide for the safety of our school community.

THE BASICS:One of the most critical elements in our school safety plan is getting our community's children to and from school safely. Glen Rock Police Department assigns School Crossing Guards at key locations to assist children going to and from our schools. In addition Police Officers are assigned to periodic enforcement details at our schools and in school zones. However, the number of school buildings alone out number the Police Officers on patrol any time of the day. It is impossible to have an officer at every school and in every school zone each day. We therefore rely on the cooperation of parents, students and school staff in providing a safe environment.

Adult school crossing guards, first established in Glen Rock during the early 1950's, play an important role in the lives of children who walk or bicycle to school. They help children safely cross the street at key locations. They also remind drivers of the presence of pedestrians. The presence of crossing guards can lead to more parents feeling comfortable about their children walking or bicycling to school. While the primary role of an adult school crossing guard is to guide children safely across the street, children also remain responsible for their own safety. In this manner, a guard plays another key function as a role model helping children develop the skills necessary to cross streets safely at all times. The position of crossing guard is one of the most dangerous of municipal jobs due to slips, trips and falls, uncooperative motorists and crashes involving motor vehicles.

Thirty years ago, half of our children walked to school. Today, only 15% walk. As a result, our school zones are clogged with more traffic than they were designed to handle. Further, motorists are often in a hurry when they drop off or pick up their children and too many parents are not paying attention because of cell phones and other distractions.

The responsibility of parents to provide for safety in our school zones require the cooperation of each parent to:

  1. Leave home early and expect delays, traffic is going to move slowly. The priority in any school zone is the safety of children. If you are running late you are going to be late! Don't expect to make up for lost time in a school zone.
  2. Drive slowly and avoid distractions, especially your cell phone.
  3. Learn and follow the school's drop off and traffic safety plan. Contact the school's principal with any questions or concerns.
  4. If you need to spend time at your child's school beyond a simple drop off or pick up you must find a legal parking space. Be prepared to walk- parking directly near your child's school will not always be possible.
  5. Always stop when directed to do so by a School Crossing Guard or Police Officer.
  6. Do not block crosswalks, intersections or park illegally.
  7. Avoid making u-turns or backing up within the school zone markings.
  8. Don't turn around in or block the neighboring resident's driveways.
  9. If you park on the side of the road, always have your child exit the car on the side away from traffic.
  10. Don't park so that your child dashes across the street to get to the school.
  11. Always have your child use the designated crosswalk, this includes when you are walking with them. You set the best example for your child!
  12. Remind your child to follow the school crossing guard's instructions.
  13. If you have a child who is recovering from an injury, has some form of restricted mobility or there is an emergency please contact the Glen Rock Police Department in advance for assistance. School Principals do not have the authority to grant special parking permission on Borough Streets, in Fire Zones or to permit parking in Handicapped Zones without a State issued permit. Once a parking summons has been issued it cannot be taken back.

RESPONSE TO SCHOOL SECURITY ISSUES:

In any place where people assemble problems are bound to arise. Schools are no exception to that rule.

Those problems may include a medical emergency, natural disaster, utility issue, disturbance, a crime in progress, an intruder or any other issue which may threaten public safety.

Being prepared to respond to these issues whether they occur in our schools, a private home or on a street corner is a responsibility our officers take seriously. All other duties and functions are secondary!

The Glen Rock Police Department regularly participates in Lockdown and Evacuation Drills at each of our Public School. While officers are not regularly stationed at school buildings, officers on patrol do periodic unannounced walk-troughs at each school. A ranking officer is assigned to the district's Critical Incident Response Team. This team is responsible for evaluating school security issues and making recommendations.

While the tactics and deployment of law enforcement personnel are kept confidential, each school has a protocol that parents, staff and students should be aware of. Parents are encouraged to contact their school's principal with any questions or concerns.

In recent years the GRPD has increased training and purchased additional equipment to aid officers in responding to any issue which may arise at our schools and elsewhere in the community. Lessons learned nationwide have showed that local law enforcement needs to be able to respond quickly and cannot wait for assistance to arrive from outside of the community before taking action.

Officers regularly participate in "active shooter" training programs with other law enforcement agencies through the region. This training paid off recently when members of the Glen Rock Police Department were dispatched to another community to assist with an active shooter at a shopping mall. While the response to the active shooter´┐Ż is often associated with school buildings, the fact is that this type of deployment applies to the workplace, shopping malls and other venues where people assemble. Guidelines If you are outside a building when someone begins to shoot at people in the area:

Immediately take cover (hide behind something hard that will stop or slow bullets), or circumstances permitting, enter an unaffected building.

In the event neither cover nor entering a building is possible, run in a zig-zag fashion away from the sound of gunfire. Dial 9-1-1

If you are in a building when someone begins to shoot at people in the area: If possible without compromising your safety, EXIT immediately and Dial 9-1-1. If leaving would jeopardize your safety, secure your immediate area by:

  • Locking and barricading doors
  • Turning off lights
  • Closing blinds and/or locking windows
  • Keep quiet. Silence cell phones (not even vibrate); turn off radios and computer monitors
  • Stay out of sight and take adequate cover/protection (i.e. concrete walls, filing cabinets)
  • Do not stand by doors or windows
  • Do not huddle in masses

A plan must be made with the occupants of a room if the suspect(s) should enter.
Contacting the Authorities: Call 9-1-1
Even if phone lines are overwhelmed and your call does not go through, stay calm and continue to call 9-1-1

What to Report

  • Shooter(s) location, number of suspects and their identities if known.
  • Race, gender, clothing description, physical features of the suspect(s)
  • Type of weapons (rifle or handgun), backpacks or duffle bags, separate explosions from gunfire, etc.
  • Your specific location, building name, and office/room number
  • Number of people at your specific location
  • Injuries, number of persons injured and types of injuries

Un-Securing an Area:

Remember, the shooter will not stop until they are stopped by an outside force. Consider the risks before un-securing (unlocking) rooms. If doubt exists for the safety of the individuals inside the room, the area should remain secured. If you are approached by police officers, keep your hands visible. Do not run up to them if you see them approaching. They are trained to handle active shooters in certain situations. An initial team of police officers will be trying to stop the shooter and will not be stopping to assist others at this time.